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New Polls Show Support for Abe ErodingTobias Harris

Three new opinion polls show Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s approval declining significantly in the wake of his Liberal Democratic Party’s defeat in Tokyo’s metropolitan assembly elections on July 2. In tracking polls conducted by NHK, the Yomiuri Shimbun, and the Asahi Shimbun, the government’s net approval ratings fell into negative territory for the first time since September 2015. Approval fell t…

Koike Camp Wins Landslide in Tokyo Election, Trounces LDP (News)

Tokyo, July 2 (Jiji Press)—Tomin First no Kai (Tokyoites First), a regional party led by Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko, and forces supporting Koike won a landslide victory in a Tokyo metropolitan assembly election held on Sunday, handing Prime Minister Abe Shinzō's Liberal Democratic Party a historic defeat in the capital. Tomin First leader Koike Yuriko, governor of Tokyo, affixes green flowers…

Noda Eager to Run in 2018 LDP Leadership Race (News)

Tokyo, April 29 (Jiji Press)—Noda Seiko, a senior member of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has expressed her eagerness to run in a party leadership election in autumn 2018. At an April 25, 2017, interview, Noda Seiko speaks of her intent to run for the LDP presidency in autumn 2018. (© Jiji)  In a recent interview with Jiji Press, Noda, former chair of the party's General Council,…

Will There Ever Be a Female Japanese Prime Minister?Yokota Yumiko

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko and newly elected Democratic Party President Renhō have helped shine the media spotlight on Japan’s female politicians. However, even as more women step into political leadership roles, there is still a long, hard road ahead before Japan sees its first female prime minister.

Democrats Elect Renhō as Party President

On September 15 Renhō won a three-year term as president of the Democratic Party, becoming the first female head of the main opposition party. Not since Doi Takako controlled the Japan Socialist Party (today the Social Democratic Party) in 1986–91 has a woman led a party with over 100 Diet seats. The Democrats are looking to Renhō to restore the party’s image following meager showings during the l…

The Greening of Japanese Politics?Winifred Bird

When Greens Japan emerged as a national political organization in July 2012, the timing for success seemed perfect. Sixteen months had passed since the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster of March 2011. The Japanese public was saturated with news of government incompetence linked to the triple disaster, fed up with mainstream politics, and, to a greater degree than ever before, eager for a t…

Party Leaders Debate Ahead of July 2016 House of Councillors Election

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and other Japanese party leaders took part in a debate on June 21, 2016. The Constitution, the economy, and other key issues are likely to dominate discussion during campaigning for the July 10 House of Councillors election.

The Political History of the Consumption Tax

In June 2016, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō once again postponed the next consumption tax hike. The rate will climb from 8% to 10% in October 2019, fully four years after the originally planned date. In this article we trace the history of consumption tax policy in Japan.

Two Decades Behind: How to Give Women a Bigger Voice in Japanese PoliticsMiura Mari

Japan has one of the lowest rates of female representation in politics of any country in the world. What are the reasons for Japan’s lack of progress in this area, and what can be done to improve the gender balance in Japanese politics?

Impact of New Teenage Voters UncertainTobias Harris

This summer’s House of Councillors elections will be the first in which Japan’s 18- and 19-year-olds can vote. Ahead of this historic vote, the Asahi Shimbun conducted a mail survey of soon-to-be-eligible young voters, seeking to understand how they view Japanese politics and society. It received valid replies from 2,109 respondents. The survey found that young voters are less favorably dispose…

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