Japan. According to Countryaah.com, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took steps during the year to remain in power. In March, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) changed its rules to allow the party leader to sit for three periods in three consecutive years instead of two earlier periods. In early August, he carried out a government transformation after Secretary of Defense Tomomi Inada resigned following harsh criticism from Parliament. She was replaced by Itsunori Onodera. There were also changes in the heavy posts of Foreign Minister and Minister of the Interior where Taro Kono and Seiko Noda took office. Of all the ministers in the new government, only two were women. However, the election held for the Legislative Assembly in Tokyo in July became a hardship for LDP. Instead, the election’s big winner became the newly formed party Tomin First, founded by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.
At the end of September, Abe dissolved parliament and announced elections until October 22. The reason why he ran the election, which was otherwise expected to be held a year later, was considered to be that Abe’s chances of being re-elected seemed good. His and LDP’s opinion figures rose during the summer while the Opposition Democratic Party (DPJ) underwent a leadership crisis. In July, Renho Murata resigned after less than a year at the party leader post. In September, former party leader and Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara was elected as her successor. Before the election, however, a new party – Hope’s Party – was launched with the popular Yuriko Koike in the lead. To try to prevent Abe’s time in Japan’s power being extended, DPJ decided that their party members would run for Hope’s party. The decision led to a faction breaking out of the DPJ and forming the new Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP), led by Yukio Edano. DPJ was thus in practice dissolved. The election was a great success for the LDP, which received 281 out of 465 seats, and the party’s coalition partner Komeito, who conquered 29 seats, giving the government two-thirds of the seats in the House of Representatives in total. This allows Abe to change the constitution so that the defense force, the so-called self-defense forces, are formally recognized. Since World War II, Japan has been characterized by pacifist currents. The jump party got 50 seats, four fewer than the CDP. The fact that the big successes did not materialize was explained by many with the fact that the party leader Yuriko Koike did not himself candidate. She therefore resigned as party leader in November.
Foreign policy was the focus of the growing nuclear threat from North Korea. In April, US Vice President Mike Pence visited Tokyo and assured that the United States would continue to guarantee Japan’s security. By then, three of North Korea’s test missiles had already landed in sea areas that are part of Japan’s territory. In August, North Korea fired a test missile that passed over the Japanese island of Hokkaido and then landed in the sea, triggering severe reactions in Japan. The following month, another North Korean missile passed over Japan. The North Korean provocations were seen as a reaction to the US and Japan holding a joint defense exercise at Hokkaido. The threat from neighboring countries prompted Japan to set up and activate US-made missile defense systems.
In December, the news came that Japan in the 2018 budget again increased its defense funding. The same month, new sanctions were imposed on North Korea. In December, a direct communication channel between the defense forces in Japan and China was also decided as a way to reduce the risk of military conflict in the disputed East China Sea.
In November, Prime Minister Abe announced that Emperor Akihito (born 1933) will abdicate April 30, 2019. The next day, Crown Prince Naruhito is expected to take over the throne after his father.
Feudalism, capitalism, socialism
Both collectivism and verticality point strongly in the feudal direction, although certain features of property relations resemble capitalism. But at the same time, Japan also has strong features in common with the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe – especially central planning. There is state-capitalist cooperation between private firms and government ministries far beyond what is in the West, better thought out, more long-term and one could almost say, far more intelligent. One reason for the latter is that in Japan, the universities’ best candidates go to the state, the second-ranking business graduates, and the remaining remain at the university – which can be felt; In the West, it’s the exact opposite – which can also be felt. An important negotiation between state delegations from Japan and a country in the West is therefore a meeting on a very different basis: the Japanese will usually not only be superior, but also superior enough to be able to hide this.
As a welfare society, Japan works well for the one assured in a company or similar. and have family; But very bad for anyone who falls outside this pattern – especially the older ones. Suicide rates are also particularly high among older women. And the position of women is strongly reminiscent of e.g. Denmark in the last century, but with a very important difference: they have great power in the home. It is e.g. It is common for the woman to receive the salary and to give the man pocket money, which he then goes for (with bar girls). Marriage will continue to be arranged through a third party. The initiative can come from anywhere, as long as it looks like the third party – often a director or a professor – is the one behind it. It is common in Japan to say: “Our marriages begin” arranged “and evolve into love marriages; in the West, it’s the other way around. ”
A system which in this way unites feudal, capitalist and socialist features – to re-apply Western categories – has both strengths and weaknesses. The strength is clear, we have already seen it. The weakness is, among other things, a certain blindness, a lack of internal control by the population because it remains very loyal to the management – ie. the Conservative government. Another weakness is that the Japanese themselves seem to be losing some of the enthusiasm for the model and are becoming increasingly interested in being less clever, productive and collectivistic. They become more interested in finding their own style, more in touch with nature and art, and with all the strict and simple but demanding aesthetics that characterize all Japanese art.