Japan’s elections disastrous for ruling party

This video is about the Nanking Massacre.

By Jamie Allinson:

Japan’s upper house elections disastrous for ruling party

Last Sunday’s elections to the upper house of the Japanese parliament were a huge defeat for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the right wing prime minister Shinzo Abe. Elections were held for 121 seats – half of the upper house. The LDP only won 37 seats, while the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) gained a majority with 60 seats.

Shinzo Abe has said he will continue despite the result. However, the Asahi newspaper – Japan’s equivalent of the Guardian – wrote on Sunday: “Voices saying ‘no to Abe’s LDP’ swirled around the whole country.”

The election was a vote of no-confidence in Abe’s pro-war, neoliberal policies.

Japanese troops have joined the occupation of Iraq, in violation of the country’s “peace constitution”. Abe has continued to support the Iraq war and wants to change the constitution to allow troop deployment. He has also changed Japan’s education system to foster nationalism and deny Japan’s wartime atrocities.

At home Abe has continued the neoliberal programme of his predecessor Junichiro Koizumi. This programme includes the privatisation of the Japanese post office, the world’s largest financial institution. In campaigning for Sunday’s election, Abe tried to present himself as a new force despite being the incumbent candidate of a party that has ruled almost continuously for 50 years.

The attempt failed. A series of LDP corruption scandals and blunders – one minister committed suicide and another described women as ‘breeding machines’ – reminded voters just how far the LDP is from ordinary people.

The biggest scandal for the LDP was the “loss” of 64 million people’s pension records. That scandal is part of a bigger crisis in the Japanese pension system. As in Britain, bosses in Japan want workers to retire later on smaller pensions. The pensions scandal has been a focus for anger at this situation.

There is also Abe´s denial of forced prostitution for ´comfort women´ during World War II. His ´Defence´ Minister´s assent to the US nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Etc.

Japan’s agriculture minister resigns in scandal: here.


2 thoughts on “Japan’s elections disastrous for ruling party

  1. Aug 5, 1:22 PM EDT

    Abe sorry for minister’s A-bomb remark

    Associated Press Writer

    TOKYO (AP) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized Sunday for the first time over his former defense minister’s suggestion that the U.S. nuclear attacks on Japan were justified.

    Abe also promised in a private meeting with survivors in Hiroshima to expanded medical support for those still suffering the effects of the 1945 blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, officials and media reports said. The government has been criticized for strict eligibility standards that have limited medical care to many survivors.

    Hiroshima marks the anniversary of the world’s first-ever nuclear attack on Monday.

    Then-Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma said in a June speech that although the attacks caused great suffering, Japan would have otherwise kept fighting and ended up losing a greater part of its northern territory to the Soviet Union, which invaded Manchuria on the day Nagasaki was bombed.

    “I understand that the bombings ended the war, and I think that it couldn’t be helped,” he said.

    Kyuma’s statement, similar to the widely held U.S. belief that the bombings hastened the war’s end and thus saved lives, triggered fury in Japan, where many consider the attacks an unjustified slaughter of civilians.

    Survivors demanded an apology and a meeting with Abe. Abe, whose ruling party recently suffered a stinging parliamentary election loss after a string of scandals including Kyuma’s remarks, said he felt sorry that Kyuma’s remarks “hurt the feelings of the A-bomb survivors,” Kyodo News agency reported, citing an official who attended the closed meeting.

    “Now that 62 years have passed since the atomic bombings, we must provide fuller medical and welfare measures,” Abe said during the public portion of the event.

    Abe also proposed a plan to relax screening of radiation-induced illnesses for those seeking free medical support, said Sunao Tsuboi, a survivor group representative.

    The first atomic bombing killed more than 140,000 people in Hiroshima. The second bombing, on Nagasaki in southern Japan three days later, killed another 74,000.

    Some 260,000 people survived.

    Bombing survivors have developed illnesses from radiation exposure that include cancer and liver disease.

    © 2007 The Associated Press.


  2. Pingback: Japanese taxpayers’ money for wars, instead of Fukushima disaster cleanup? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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