Shinzo Abe’s latest cabinet reshuffle could transform Japan


With only two years likely to have passed since his resignation, the time remaining for Shinzo Abe, Japan’s soon to be prime minister, is his longest serving in the post-war period. Limited. But if the recent cabinet reshuffle he made is anything he must go through, it seems that Abe is determined to achieve his goal. Historic Constitutional Reform – Whether it is sitting the prime minister or by laying the foundation to complete the successor.

At the heart of Abe’s planned reforms is the desire to “normalize” the Japanese military. Currently under Article 9 The so-called peace clause – In the post-war constitution passed by the United States, Japan has abandoned armed conflict as a means of settling international disputes. but with Tensions rise in Northeast Asia And relations between Abe and Trump It has been described as a “friendship without interest”.It may be a good time to reassess Japan’s military posture.

From this standpoint, we must consider the cabinet reshuffle that Abe made on September 11th.

First, the arousal of the sexual attraction. No, not Abe’s king. Despite the rise of a few young members of Japan’s parliament to prominence, it is the House of Representatives of Japan, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has It has dominated Japanese politics since 1955It is still seen as an ancient dinosaur.

Enter Shinjiro Koizumi, the charismatic son of the former prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi. The choice of Koizumi Junior as environment minister suddenly resulted in the Abe government awarded Future star With the wife of a glamorous TV personality and the gift of gossip. According to his brief, Koizumi has promised to take action on climate change.Sexual“.

Shinjiro Koizumi, the new environment minister, is injecting youth and much-needed stardom into the Abe government.
Huang Kwangai / Wikimedia

But Koizumi’s choice is more than just a superficial gimmick to rejuvenate the LDP’s image. Since Abe abruptly ended his first premiership in 2007, he’s been doing so often He was not seen face to face with Elder Koizumi, Which maintains significant influence over many of the ruling parties Competing factions. It was in this context that Abe Koizumi appointed a junior, the third youngest minister in the post-war government, to a high-ranking position.

Koizumi faces some big challenges. He wants to fulfill his father’s wish to shut down the Japanese nuclear industry to avoid a repeat of the 2011 disaster in Fukushima. This means securing the country’s energy from other sources. In the meantime, he will soon become a father and announced that he is considering taking paternity leave in line with the government’s goal to double the number of men who take leave after becoming fathers. But Commentators warn Any absence will severely limit what he can achieve while on the job.

By granting him the role of Environment Now, Abe sent a message to both Koizumi – who would ultimately like to reclaim what was a mighty alliance – and the rest of the party. The message that if the time – and the political price – is right, Abe is willing to put aside old differences, such as over the use of nuclear energy, in order to get things done. But this is where one should not be fooled by Abe’s pragmatism and his offer to unify the party and power structure. Still the Liberal Democratic Party Known factional monster.

Punish competitors and reward friends

Within the government, the former defense minister and secretary general of the LDP was one of the strongest internal opponents of Abe, Ishiba Shigeru. Ishiba is descended from a rival faction and He previously ran against Abe in the party leadership election. So the decision not to appoint him to a more prominent ministerial position reinforces Abe’s desire to eliminate any potential challenges to his authority. Even when, as in the case of Ishiba, their ultimate goals for defense and constitutional reform largely coincide, despite the public The disagreement is about how best to achieve it.

Abe’s political rival within the LDP, Ishiba Shigeru, was dropped in the cabinet reshuffle.
Sakaori via Wikimedia CommonsAnd CC BY

Meanwhile, Abe Toshimitsu Motegi, a Harvard-educated hardliner, has appointed Minister of Foreign AffairsHe retained some of his most loyal supporters in Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshidi Suga, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Taro Aso. This highlights Abe’s constant desire to surround himself with those who are unlikely to rock the boat against his leadership.

Legacy insurance

Abe’s past, especially [highly nationalistic ideology] Associated with his grandfather and former prime minister, Nobusuke Kishi, and controversial characters such as Iki KeitaAfter prime minister, he’s often focused on more than his future. However, all of these moves come in the context of Abe’s possible departure in 2021, with the focus on implementing constitutional reform before that happens. Abe has always sought to be remembered as prime minister, transforming Japan intoOrdinary nationFrom a military and geopolitical point of view.

Evidence of that dessert will come if Abe can persuade his peers in parliament and the Japanese public to review the peace provision in the constitution. Abe wants to recognize the Japan Self-Defense Forces that are written into the constitution. Although it is assumed that land, air and naval forces are prohibited by Article 9, Japan currently boasts one of the The best equipped armies On the planet, not to mention the Coast Guard who can Confidently take on the many navies.

Despite constitutional restrictions, Japan boasts one of the most equipped militaries on the planet.
Josiah_S / Shutterstock

Despite the rattling of swords – and unlike many of his current counterparts in Europe and North America – Abe has skillfully avoided the mark of populism. Instead, he massaged his domestic and international fans to showcase a picture of them State of the art, stability and pragmatism.

Read more:
Profile: Controversial Japanese Shinzo Abe, intelligent and ambitious

However, polls only indicate that Just over 50% With the Japanese public in favor of even discussing constitutional reform, time for Abe might be running out.

The carefully considered reshuffle appears to reflect this stark political reality, as it seeks to maneuver around political opponents and coalition partners. In this sense, this latest step represents Abe’s determination to pursue constitutional reform, even if it should be after he steps down in September 2021.

Abe advocated strong leadership. He was a pioneer Apenomics, A three-dimensional strategy to address Japan’s long-term economic recession, and WOMOMICS, A proposal to encourage more Japanese women to enter the workforce. However, it now appears that Abe is playing a long game, as he works to nurture the next generation to advance their vision of achieving a normal Japan.

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