What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

News Kishida elected Japan's 100th prime minister

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,487
Reaction score
2,709
Today, Japan's parliament elected Fumio Kishida Japan's 100th prime minister.

prime-minister-fumio-kishida.jpg


One of his first actions was to move the Lower House election to 31 October. "It will be wise to hold the Lower House election at the earliest possible date when the public still has high expectations" for the new Cabinet, an LDP official said.

As if anyone had expectations. :LOL:

Fumio Kishida's new administration features 13 rookie Cabinet ministers in an apparent attempt to provide a "fresh" image, but other picks show that old-fashioned political wheeling-and-dealing remains strong. All Cabinet members of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's administration resigned on the morning of Oct. 4, paving the way for Kishida to announce a lineup that he hopes can cement his identity as a politician. After his victory in the Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election on Sept. 29, Kishida used senior party positions to reward those who had helped him win, including former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso. For example, Kishida on Oct. 1 named Akira Amari the new secretary-general of the party. Amari had worked with Abe and Aso to ensure Kishida would win the LDP presidential race. For his Cabinet appointments, Kishida seems determined to maintain a balance among older, late middle-aged and younger politicians.

It's good when things stay in the family:

Shunichi Suzuki, former chairman of the LDP's General Council, was named Finance Minister on Oct. 4, replacing Aso. Aso has held the post for about eight years and nine months, the longest in the postwar period, and some political watchers had expected Kishida to keep Aso in the position. Although replacing Aso may on the surface seem like disrespect to the former prime minister, it should be noted that Suzuki is a senior member of the Aso faction. He is also Aso's younger brother-in-law.

Koizumi Jr. was booted for supporting Taro Kono.

Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, who endorsed Kono in the party's election, does not have a position in the Kishida administration.


Right-winger Sanae Takaichi, who shook hands with the chairman of Japan's neonazi party and advocates traditional gender roles, was appointed chairwoman of the Policy Research Council.

From Wikipedia:

Takaichi incured many controversies due to her views on history. She opposes Murayama Statement, which admits Japanese war crimes committed in World War II, denies comfort women being forced, and professed that she would visit Yasukuni Shrine if elected to the head of Liberal Democratic Party and Prime Minister. She used to endorse Hitler Election Strategy: A Bible for Certain Victory in Modern Elections and took a photo with Kazunari Yamada, a Holocaust denier and head of National Socialist Japanese Workers' Party, a neo-fascist party.

And Taro Kono - although the public's favoured candidate - became the head of the LDP's public relations department. Clearly a "window seat", at least for the time being.

On his first day in office, Kishida launched a barrage of promises and policy statements:
  • his government will aim for economic growth and redistribution
  • and consider tweaking the country's financial income tax rate will be among options in addressing income disparity
  • it will uphold freedom, democracy, rule of law
  • Kishida is willing to meet with N. Korea's Kim without preconditions
  • he is considering cash handouts for people hit by COVID-19
  • he vows to work toward a world without nuclear arms
Time to tighten the fundoshi.

PS: here’s what the markets think of the new government:

Tokyo stocks plunged Monday, extending their losing streak to six days, as the market was disappointed by new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida apparently prioritizing factional interests over injecting fresh faces into his Cabinet. […] "Disappointment over the incoming Kishida Cabinet continued to drag down the market after the public favorite Mr. Kono lost the LDP leadership race in the face of factional logic," said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co.

 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #2

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,487
Reaction score
2,709
Kishida's new government sets out with a very low approval rating of just 45 per cent.

The approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was 45 percent, the lowest for a new administration since 2001, when The Asahi Shimbun began its current method of surveying voters.



And here's an interesting piece by the WP (via MSN):

Japan's new prime minister is a third-generation politician. That's more common than you might think.


One of the ironies of Japanese politics, however, is that "generational change" in the LDP often means the sons, grandsons and other relatives of outgoing politicians step in to replace them. Kishida himself is a prime example –– his father and grandfather were also lawmakers. Why do dynasties like the Kishida family dominate political leadership in Japan?

We often think of dynastic succession as a feature of authoritarian regimes and personalized dictatorships. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Mahamet Déby of Chad are just a few examples. But in a democracy like Japan, it is more surprising to find such a concentration of power within a small number of families. Scholars attribute the abundance of dynasties within the LDP to the multimember district electoral rules used for the House of Representatives from 1947 to 1993. For the LDP to win a majority of seats, it needed to nominate multiple candidates in each district, thereby creating intraparty competition and "hyper-personalistic" campaigns. In this context, party leaders involved in recruiting candidates sought the name recognition and inherited resources of dynastic candidates. In 1994, Japan adopted a new system based largely on single-member districts - similar to the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. This system eliminated intraparty competition and strengthened parties, reducing the importance of name recognition. As a result, the prevalence of dynasties in the LDP has declined - from roughly half of new candidates in the early 1990s, to about 10 percent in recent years, similar to the rate in the United States and other democracies.

 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #3

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,487
Reaction score
2,709
Let the back-pedalling begin.

Campaign promise: the redistribution of wealth.


A week later:


Progressive income tax?




I agree with Mr Edano (whatever one may think about the toothless and lethargic opposition):

The opposition leader lambasted Prime Minister Fumio Kishida over his abrupt abandoning of plans to increase the tax rate on stock-related income as a way to redistribute wealth in Japan. "His is an administration in which he cannot stick to his guns and call the shots," Yukio Edano, head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, told reporters when he visited Higashi-Matsuyama in Saitama Prefecture on Oct. 10. "Kishida is a symbol of what cannot make a change." The CDP has said the "Abenomics" package of economic measures formulated by the Shinzo Abe administration and carried out by successive governments led by the Liberal Democratic Party have only helped the rich get richer in Japan.


I thought it's now called "Sanaenomics".


And it will be interesting to see how this one plays out: the widow of the Ministry of Finance employee Toshio Akagi, who killed himself over a high-profile public records-tampering scandal involving the ministry and school operator Moritomo Gakuen, asks the PM to probe the corruption scandal once again. It is very unlikely that Kishida will bite the hand that elected him.

 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #4

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,487
Reaction score
2,709
Here's a piece by The Time magazine on Kishida's 'New Capitalism' for Japan.

In his first big policy speech on becoming Japan's 100th prime minister, Fumio Kishida doubled down on campaign promises to redistribute wealth and shrink inequality. "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together," Kishida told lawmakers on Oct. 8, quoting a proverb of hotly contested provenance. But the "new form of Japanese capitalism" advocated by the softly spoken Kishida—a former foreign minister with a reputation as a consensus builder—spooked Tokyo investors wary of higher taxes and prompted markets to plunge. In response, the 64-year-old chosen to lead the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), following last month's resignation of Yoshihide Suga, insisted that he wasn't planning on raising capital gains tax anytime soon.

Kishida, however, is pinning his hopes on an "income-doubling plan." His chief election rallying cry harks back to an initiative of the same name by Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda in 1960. Ikeda spearheaded Japan's export boom while expanding the social safety net for society's poorest. Notably, he succeeded Nobusuke Kishi—Abe's grandfather—who was forced to resign after he fixed a parliamentary vote on Japan's security treaty with Washington.

 
  • Thread starter
  • Admin
  • #5

thomas

Unswerving cyclist
Admin
Joined
14 Mar 2002
Messages
11,487
Reaction score
2,709
There seems to be a lot of pressure from the Abe faction:

Japan's new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida donated ritual offerings Sunday to a Tokyo shrine viewed by Chinese and Koreans as a symbol of Japanese wartime aggression, though he did not make a visit in person. Kishida donated "masakaki" religious ornaments to mark Yasukuni Shrine's autumn festival. It was the first such observance by Kishida since he took office on Oct. 4.



Former PM Suga and some other LDP figures yesterday visited Yasukuni in person.
 
Top Bottom