The upcoming parliamentary vote in Japan will determine whether the ruling coalition will retain its majority. The parties are sparring over how to deal with the country’s high cost of living, which is partly attributed to Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine and a weak yen. There is also a debate about the proper way to bolster Japan’s defense, with the LDP vowing to bolster the country’s military and increase its budget by two percent of GDP. Komeito is against boosting the defense budget, while CDPJ wants to discuss substance before size.
The political establishment has condemned the killing of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot during a campaign rally in Nara on May 22. Abe had called for a more aggressive defense stance, and had been a vocal supporter of revising Japan’s constitution. Abe’s protege, Fumio Kishida, has promised to implement the constitutional revision, and will focus on formulating drafts for a national referendum.
The ruling coalition looks set to retain a majority in the upcoming parliamentary vote, as the opposition suffers big losses. The victory of the LDP will also give Kishida more political wiggle room. He will not be faced with another election challenge for three years, and he will have more time to implement his agenda on constitutional revision. This is a great opportunity for the LDP to push its agenda.
This triennial election is a crucial test for the government under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. It will determine whether voters continue to trust Kishida and assess the government’s performance. The government’s response to COVID-19, its response to the soaring prices and efforts to bolster defense ties with China will be evaluated by the voters.
The Liberal Democratic Party won a sweeping victory in the parliamentary vote on July 10, while pro-constitutional amendment forces managed to hold onto their two-thirds majority necessary to push through a revision of the supreme law. The victory of the Liberal Democratic Party comes at a time when the country is struggling with high prices and security threats from Russia. The LDP’s majority is likely to continue to hold power in the next parliamentary vote on July 10 2022.
The death of Abe will likely alter the internal dynamics of the LDP. He was head of the largest faction of the LDP and fought against Kishida’s proposals for a “new capitalism” with greater wealth distribution. The composition of the upper house of the parliament will also determine whether the LDP can successfully change Japan’s post-war constitution. The constitution has not been altered in 75 years, and Abe’s push for increased militarization has led to huge protests.
The election will take a new meaning following the death of Abe. All major political parties suspended campaigning on the day of the assassination. Even ardent opponents of Abe spoke of shock. Senior LDP members held a moment of silence before the announcement. Kishida also pledged to protect Japan’s democracy despite the dangers it faces from the rogue element.