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Japan’s snap election and an opposition divided

While general elections in Japan were not legally due for another 14 months, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s snap decision to hold them on 22 October should surprise no one. At first glance, the timing seemed puzzling. Economic improvements notwithstanding, 2017 has not...

Where is Japan’s party system headed?

In recent years, predicting where Japan’s party system is heading has not been easy. The fluidity of party organisations, the internal fracturing and transient existence of many party groupings, and the migration of politicians from one party to another has presented...

Press freedom and politics in Japan

Most international attention on East Asia today is sharply focused on North Korea’s nuclear and missile developments. But this does not mean that we can neglect the significant developments taking place in Japan’s domestic political landscape. Since winning the...

Abe shuffles his pieces for the political endgame

It looks as if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is fighting for his political endgame, but his pet policy Abenomics is coming under increasing pressure on a number of fronts. First, history is against Abe. Japan’s current business cycle began in November 2012, coinciding...

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