Cabinet reshuffle brings no boost to Abe but public support is stable as he starts third term

Author: Tobias Harris

Categories: Japan Political Pulse

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, fresh off his successful bid for a third term as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the September 20, 2018, party election, announced a new lineup for his cabinet and for the LDP’s leadership on October 2, 2018. Three polls conducted October 2-3, after the reshuffle, found that the public’s reaction to the new cabinet was lukewarm at best.

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Polls show Japanese public ambivalent about resolving issues with North Korea but supportive of diplomacy

Author: Tobias Harris

Categories: Japan Political Pulse

Polls conducted in Japan since the June 12 U.S.-North Korea summit reflect the Japanese public’s ambivalence towards the summit, skepticism about denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, and, despite pessimism about resolving the issues that stand in the way of improved Japan-North Korea relations, strong public support for Prime Minister Abe’s attempts to convene a summit with Kim Jong Un.

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June poll watcher: despite fluctuations, Prime Minister Abe recovers in the polls

Author: Tobias Harris

Categories: Japan Political Pulse

According to Sasakawa USA’s Japan Political Pulse ten-day moving average of opinion polls, over the course of June, the Abe government’s net average approval has risen from -14 at the start of the month to roughly 0 by the end of the month. Despite continuing scandals and lack of public trust in the Prime Minister, Abe continues to provide many Japanese voters with a “sense of stability.”

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Scandal raises doubts about Abe’s ability to win a third term

Author: Tobias Harris

Categories: Japan Political Pulse

As recently as last month it appeared that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was cruising to an easy victory in the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) September leadership election, which would give him a third three-year term and position him to set the record as Japan’s longest-tenured postwar prime minister. Over the past two weeks, however, the reemergence of a scandal regarding the discounted sale of public land to Moritomo Gakuen, a private school with links to the prime minister and the first lady, has raised doubts about Abe’s ability to win a third term–or even to survive until the end of his current term.

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Post-LDP Leadership Election: What’s Next for Japanese Politics?

Tobias Harris, Sasakawa USA Fellow for Business, Economy and Trade, was joined by Prof. Toshihiro Nakayama, Japan Fellow at the Wilson Center, for a September 21, 2018, policy lunch talk on the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) presidential elections held the previous day. The discussion was moderated by Sayuri Romei, Sasakawa USA’s Associate Fellow for Security and Foreign Affairs.

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