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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 January 23 - 29  > PM Abe in policy speech unsuccessful at concealing his failure
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2019 January 23 - 29 [POLITICS]

PM Abe in policy speech unsuccessful at concealing his failure

January, 29, 2019
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who has been in office for seven years since his comeback to power, delivered a policy speech to the 198th ordinary Diet session which convened on January 28. Currently, a falsification and mismanagement scandal regarding monthly labor surveys has become a major issue. However, Abe in his speech tried to clear up the issue by simply apologizing for the misconduct or saying that his government will "look into" the allegation. He repeatedly used abstract expressions such as, "Abenomics is evolving even now" and he will "settle Japan's postwar diplomatic" dispute. Although he said, "I will carve out the future of Japan toward a new era after Heisei," he could not present a specific vision. Only in regard to constitutional revision did he show his eagerness hoping that "political parties will deepen discussions at the Commission on the Constitution at each House."

The data fabrication scandal is very serious because it would affect the very foundation of national politics, and this problem is not going to be swept away by just saying, "I apologize for it.”

Twenty-two basic governmental statistics so far have been found to be inaccurate, which is casting doubt on the government's prior pronouncements about the "achievement" of "Abenomics".

PM Abe boasted about his "ever-evolving Abenomics" economic policy. However, in reality, Japan's consumer spending has been stagnant since the consumption tax rate rose to 8% in 2014, down as much as 250,000 yen a year per household.

Nevertheless, PM Abe insisted on the planned hike in the tax rate to 10% this October. He requested people's "understanding and cooperation" by saying that he will take "more than enough countermeasures" to overcome any negative affects.

He said he will "settle" complicated diplomatic issues, but he leans heavily on the United States as shown clearly in his remark, "The core of our country's diplomacy and security is the Japan-U.S. alliance." Regarding the question of the U.S. Futenma base in Okinawa, he just repeated his previous stance that he "will push ahead with the base relocation to Henoko". As for territorial negotiations with Russia on which he has been concentrating, he just mentioned he "will accelerate" talks and showed no resolve to break the impasse.

What PM Abe aims for with his long-term administration is to turn Japan into a "war-capable nation". Public opinion should drive this government into a corner by exercising their right to vote in the upcoming nationwide local elections and Upper House election. The best way to carve out the future is to oust the Abe government without delay.

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