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Tobias Harris
  • Tobias Harris 
  • By this author: 7 Latest posted: 2017.09.27
Japanese politics and economics analyst at Teneo Intelligence, a political risk advisory firm, and the Economy, Trade, and Business Fellow at Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA. He has written about Japanese politics for publications including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs. In 2006–7, Harris served on the staff of House of Councillors member Asao Keiichirō, shadow foreign minister for the Democratic Party of Japan. After majoring in politics and history at Brandeis University, earned his MPhil in international relations from the University of Cambridge. Has also done graduate research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the Institute for Social Science at the University of Tokyo as a Fulbright scholar. His SPF work is available online.
Abe’s Comeback and the General Election Outlook2017.09.27

On September 25, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō held a press conference at which he announced that, upon the opening of the autumn extraordinary session of the Diet on September 28, he would dissolve the House of Representatives and call a general election for October 22. The election comes as a surprise after a summer in which Abe’s net approval ratings (based on Japan Political Pulse’s mo…

New Polls Show Support for Abe Eroding2017.07.25

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…

First Polls After Trump’s Victory Show Uneasy Japanese Public2016.11.18

As the Japanese government scrambles to react to Donald Trump’s upset victory in the November 8 United States presidential election—and with Prime Minister Abe Shinzō expected to be the first world leader to meet with Trump this Thursday, November 17—new opinion polls suggest the Japanese public is uneasy about the impact of the election on the US-Japan relationship. Most Japanese, after all, pref…

Survey Shows Japanese Largely Satisfied—Except, Perhaps, About Incomes2016.10.10

Japan’s cabinet secretariat conducts an annual large-scale survey to assess what individuals think of their quality of life. The survey provides a useful snapshot of the context in which the government conducts economic policymaking. It asks citizens to identify the extent to which they are content with pocketbook issues—their incomes and savings—and more abstract concepts like leisure time and op…

Impact of New Teenage Voters Uncertain2016.05.27

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…

Abe’s Growth-First Fiscal Policy2015.09.09

On June 30, the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, the Japanese government’s leading economic advisory council, issued the 2015 version of its Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform. This is a blueprint for the government’s economic policy agenda for the current fiscal year and the following fiscal year’s budgetary process, which starts in the summer. While drafting the…

The Abe Government Grapples with Low IT Investment2015.07.27

Since returning to power in December 2012, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has struggled to advance the so-called “third arrow” of Abenomics, which includes both structural reforms to transform the Japanese economy and an industrial policy that uses state power to foster new industries. Perhaps the tip of that arrow—and a key to its advancement—is information technology policy. In fact, as Abe’…

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