What's at stake in the Japan elections? | In Focus podcast

Earlier this week, on Thursday, Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida dissolved the lower house of Parliament, paving the way for general elections, which are scheduled for October 31.


Japanese politics has been dominated by the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) for much of its post-war history. Under Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister who stepped down in September 2020, the LDP has moved further to the right. Abe’s successor, Yoshihide Suga, lasted just a year. His growing unpopularity meant that the party did not want to go to elections under his leadership. So he stepped down last month, making way for former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to take over.


Under Kishida, the LDP has built a sizeable lead in approval ratings, and the party is expected to win. But Kishida has some tough challenges facing him – while COVID-19 has still not gone away, the economy has been battered by the pandemic, and the rich-poor divide has grown sharper.


Is it going to be an easy win for Kishida? And even if the LDP wins, will he enjoy a stable tenure? How will the new regime navigate the growing hostility between the US and China, given that China is one of Japan’s largest trading partners and a powerful neighbour as well?


As the world’s third largest economy heads to the polling booth, we explore these questions in this episode.


Guest: Stanly Johny, International Affairs Editor at The Hindu.

Host: G.Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 10:02:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/podcast/whats-at-stake-in-the-japan-elections-in-focus-podcast/article37021605.ece

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