(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN
ANCHOR CHRISTIAN BRYANT


The polls opened Sunday morning in Japan for what many analysts call the most significant election in recent Japanese history.

The Liberal Democratic Party ruled the country more than half a century before being voted out in 2009, but voters are expected to give the LDP another chance.

“Even if they do not secure a majority in this election, it’s believed they will team up with second-tier and third-tier parties … Most people expect Shinzo Abe to become this country’s next prime minister.” (Video via CNN)

A writer for the Los Angeles Times says the current ruling party is widely seen as having botched several issues, like the dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands, the response to 2011’s tsunami and, of course, the economy.

The BBC writes: “All parties want to end what is seen as the vicious circle of falling prices, weak growth and resulting weak consumer demand, but the LDP goes further than most in pledging to give the central bank a fixed inflation target of 2% in order to achieve this.”

But not everyone is happy about the LDP’s potential return to power.

The big issue: Abe has pledged to amend Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which explicitly renounces war as a means to settle international disputes. (Via Prime Minister of Japan's Office)

Changes to the article would allow Japan’s Self-Defense Force to become more of a traditional military.

“And there are plans to restore the position of the emperor to being more than just a symbol. For many in Japan, the changes are an ominous throwback to a militarist past.” (Video via Al Jazeera)

These militaristic changes have a few writers talking about doom and gloom.

A critic writing in the Japan Times says: “If the LDP wins this election and goes ahead with its plans to recast the military … then the only thing that can be expected is heightened aggravation from neighbors and the rattle of slogans leading to violence.”

And Foreign Policy goes even further, saying a militarized Japan would inevitably lead to a nuclear armed Japan.

“Japan's pursuit of nuclear weapons would trigger a cascade of regional upheaval -- the collapse of the world's nonproliferation regime, international sanctions on Japan, the end of the Japan-U.S. alliance, a nuclear arms race in East Asia.”

But an analyst tells Christian Science Monitor Abe is talking the talk to get elected, but the reality is China-Japan relations are too important to the country.

“If he’s in this for the long game and wants to last longer as prime minister than he did the first time, he certainly has the motivation to be more pragmatic.”

If Abe’s party does win the election, he could be back in the prime minister’s office within weeks.

Conservative Party Expected to Win Japanese Election

by Steven Sparkman
0
Transcript
Dec 15, 2012

Conservative Party Expected to Win Japanese Election

 

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN
ANCHOR CHRISTIAN BRYANT


The polls opened Sunday morning in Japan for what many analysts call the most significant election in recent Japanese history.

The Liberal Democratic Party ruled the country more than half a century before being voted out in 2009, but voters are expected to give the LDP another chance.

“Even if they do not secure a majority in this election, it’s believed they will team up with second-tier and third-tier parties … Most people expect Shinzo Abe to become this country’s next prime minister.” (Video via CNN)

A writer for the Los Angeles Times says the current ruling party is widely seen as having botched several issues, like the dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands, the response to 2011’s tsunami and, of course, the economy.

The BBC writes: “All parties want to end what is seen as the vicious circle of falling prices, weak growth and resulting weak consumer demand, but the LDP goes further than most in pledging to give the central bank a fixed inflation target of 2% in order to achieve this.”

But not everyone is happy about the LDP’s potential return to power.

The big issue: Abe has pledged to amend Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which explicitly renounces war as a means to settle international disputes. (Via Prime Minister of Japan's Office)

Changes to the article would allow Japan’s Self-Defense Force to become more of a traditional military.

“And there are plans to restore the position of the emperor to being more than just a symbol. For many in Japan, the changes are an ominous throwback to a militarist past.” (Video via Al Jazeera)

These militaristic changes have a few writers talking about doom and gloom.

A critic writing in the Japan Times says: “If the LDP wins this election and goes ahead with its plans to recast the military … then the only thing that can be expected is heightened aggravation from neighbors and the rattle of slogans leading to violence.”

And Foreign Policy goes even further, saying a militarized Japan would inevitably lead to a nuclear armed Japan.

“Japan's pursuit of nuclear weapons would trigger a cascade of regional upheaval -- the collapse of the world's nonproliferation regime, international sanctions on Japan, the end of the Japan-U.S. alliance, a nuclear arms race in East Asia.”

But an analyst tells Christian Science Monitor Abe is talking the talk to get elected, but the reality is China-Japan relations are too important to the country.

“If he’s in this for the long game and wants to last longer as prime minister than he did the first time, he certainly has the motivation to be more pragmatic.”

If Abe’s party does win the election, he could be back in the prime minister’s office within weeks.

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