Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Japan election: LDP’s Shinzo Abe vows tough China line [BBC] #China #Japan #ShinzoAbe


Japanese comeback kid Shinzo Abe fuels election success fervor by stoking the fans of nationalism after a sumo sized election win, controlling two thirds of the 480 seat house. Poignant perhaps, as this means the political agendas of our worlds’s second and third largest economies revert to primal, historical scars as guiding compass.

In a recent interview, Mr Abe told me it was time for Japan to change its pacifist constitution so it can have a proper military and defend its own territory. He also vowed to protect every inch of Japan’s sacred land and sea – including the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands.

– – –

Japan election: LDP’s Shinzo Abe vows tough China line
Source – BBC, published Dec 17, 2012

Mr Abe has served as Japanese prime minister once before. Photo - AP

Mr Abe has served as Japanese prime minister once before. Photo – AP

The leader of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has vowed to take a tough stance in territorial disputes with China.

Shinzo Abe’s comments come as exit polls indicate a decisive victory for his party in Japan’s general election.

He said he wanted to “stop the challenge” from China over a chain of islands claimed by both countries.

Click here to read the rest of the article at the source.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has conceded defeat and resigned as head of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).

The DPJ has been in power for three years. Japanese media said it had won between 55 and 77 seats in the 480-seat parliament, while the LDP had around 300.

The LDP’s ally, the small New Komeito party, looks set to win about 30 seats, possibly giving the alliance a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament.

That would give Mr Abe the power to over-rule the upper house and help to break a deadlock that some say has plagued the world’s third biggest economy since 2007.

Mr Noda resigned from his party in the wake of results, telling a news conference: I want to deeply apologise as I could not produce results.”

Asian ties

The eight disputed islands are in the East China Sea, and known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China. They are uninhabited but strategically important.

Mr Abe said the islands were Japan’s “inherent territory” and it was his party’s objective was “to stop the challenge” from China.

“We don’t intend to worsen relations between Japan and China,” he said, adding that both sides “need to share the recognition that having good relations is in the national interests of both countries”.

“China lacks this recognition a little bit. I want them to think anew about mutually beneficial strategic relations,” he said.

Acknowledging Mr Abe’s apparent victory, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency warned that an “economically weak and politically angry Japan will not only hurt the country, but also hurt the region and the world at large.

It urged Japan’s leaders to take a “rational stand on foreign policy” rather than “pandering to domestic hawkish views and picking fights with its neighbours”.

Mr Abe also told Japan’s Nippon TV he wanted to deepen ties with Asian nations, including India and Australia, and to boost Japan’s struggling economy.

“We have promised to pull Japan out of deflation and correct a strong yen. The situation is severe, but we need to do this,” he said

Sharp turn right

The LDP enjoyed almost 50 years of unbroken rule until 2009. Mr Abe has already served as Japanese prime minister between 2006 and 2007.

He is seen as a hawkish, right-of-centre leader whose previous term in office ended ignominiously amid falling popularity and a resignation on grounds of ill health.

The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes says that as many predicted, Japan has taken a sharp turn to the right.

The DPJ has struggled since coming to power in 2009. Two prime ministers came and went before Mr Noda as the party struggled to deliver amid the economic downturn and 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Mr Noda lost over his move to double sales tax, something he said was necessary to tackle Japan’s massive debt.

By contrast, Mr Abe has promised more public spending, looser monetary policy, and to allow nuclear energy a role to play in resource-poor Japan’s future despite last year’s nuclear disaster at Fukushima.

But economists say there is little new in Mr Abe’s policies, or ‘Abenomics’ as they have been called. They have been adopted by previous LDP governments without successfully renewing the Japanese economy.

Analysis by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes //
BBC News, Tokyo

The election of Shinzo Abe as Japan’s new prime minister could have profound implications for Japan’s relations with its neighbours, particularly China.

Many people point out that the last time Mr Abe was briefly prime minister, in 2007, he made a point of restoring tattered relations with China. And it’s still possible he may try to do that again.

But his core beliefs and his recent rhetoric suggest otherwise.

In a recent interview, Mr Abe told me it was time for Japan to change its pacifist constitution so it can have a proper military and defend its own territory. He also vowed to protect every inch of Japan’s sacred land and sea – including the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands.

That by itself is not particularly controversial. But Mr Abe belongs to that part of Japanese society that does not really believe Japan’s wartime aggression against China and South East Asia was a crime.

He favours the teaching of a more patriotic, uncritical version of Japanese history. Most controversially, he has openly said he does not believe that Japanese troops forced Chinese, Korean, and women from other Asian countries into sexual slavery during the Second World War.

China will now be watching very closely. Will Mr Abe, as prime minister, visit the extremely controversial Yasakuni Shrine in Tokyo to pay homage to Japan’s war dead? Will he move to revoke a 1993 Japanese government apology on the “comfort women” issue? And what will he do to about Chinese ships and aircraft challenging Japan’s control of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands?

Advertisements

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, East China Sea, Government & Policy, Green China, History, Influence, International Relations, japan, military, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), Territorial Disputes, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,575 other followers

East/West headlines of Rising China

East/West headlines of Rising China

About Wandering China

Click to find out more about this project

Support //WC

Support Wandering China now - buy a Tee Shirt!

Be a champ - Support Wandering China - buy a Tee Shirt!

The East Wind Wave

China in images and infographics, by Wandering China

China in images and Infographics, by Wandering China

Wandering China: Facing west

Please click to access video

Travels in China's northwest and southwest

Wandering Taiwan

Wandering Taiwan: reflections of my travels in the democratic Republic of China

Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Click here to view the Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

Slideshow reflection on Deng Xiaoping's UN General Assembly speech in 1974. Based on photos of my travels in China 2011.

East Asia Geographic Timelapse

Click here to view the East Asia Geographic Timelapse

A collaboration with my brother: Comparing East Asia's rural and urban landscapes through time-lapse photography.

Wandering Planets

Creative Commons License
Wandering China by Bob Tan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at Wanderingchina.org. Thank you for visiting //
web stats

Flag Counter

free counters
Online Marketing
Add blog to our directory.
%d bloggers like this: