Is Japan’s Shinzo Abe in Trouble?
I think this is probably not good news for us. Abe has been leading attempts to change’s Japan’s constitution and allow for more normal military policies. The post-WWII defense posture was made with US guarantees of Japan’s security in mind, and given the national mood in the US right now plus the Democrat/SJW attitudes towards military activity, such guarantees are now effectively worthless. Unfortunately, his economic policies have not exactly been a success, and the Japanese peoples’ patience with his government may have finally run out:
As Deutsche Bank reports, following a fresh series of political scandals, the Abe cabinet’s approval ratings have kept falling and are now in the sub-40% “danger zone” and as DB’s Makoto Yamashita writes, it is now starting to look as though Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might be forced out of office until the Liberal Democratic Party leadership race scheduled for September 2018, “in which case JGB yields might be at risk of climbing quite significantly.”
Abe cabinet’s approval ratings already in dangerous territory: the Yomiuri Shimbun reported on July 10 that the Abe cabinet’s approval rating had fallen 13%pt from its previous survey to 36%, while other polls have shown a 5%pt decline to 33% (Asahi) and a 13%pt decline to 35% (NHK). An approval rating of 40% or higher is generally considered necessary for a prime minister to remain in office. The Yomiuri Shimbun also reported a 10% decline in the Liberal Democratic Party’s approval rating to 31%, a 1%pt decline for the Democratic Party to just 6%, and a 7%pt increase for independents to 47%. Some have suggested that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might still be “safe” for want of opposition, but past experience indicates that might not necessarily be the case.
And, as Deutsche Bank warns, it is now beginning to look as though Abe might be forced out of office prior to the LDP leadership race scheduled for September 2018. Here’s why:
For starters, no administration since 1997 has survived for more than a year after recording sub-40% cabinet approval ratings in consecutive months, although Keizo Obuchi should probably be considered an exception given that his cabinet’s approval rating had improved from 25% initially to 40% by the time he was forced to stand down due to the abovementioned diarrhea. Only Junichiro Koizumi served out his full term, having consistently maintained approval ratings above 40%. It is possible that Abe will redeem himself with his upcoming cabinet reshuffle, but failure to regain the 40% level would almost certainly point to a change of prime minister before the end of 2018 if past experience is any guide.