Skip to main content

Tokyo dreams — On Japan snap polls (hindu)

Shinzo Abe’s decision to call parliamentary elections early could prove to be a gamble

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has gambled his career by calling snap elections to the Lower House of the Japanese Diet in late-October. The term of the House would have ordinarily lasted another year, but he clearly senses a turn in the popular breeze in his favour. Whether the electorate will vindicate his judgment, however, may well depend on the grit and tenacity of his challenger, Tokyo’s first woman Governor, Yuriko Koike. The former television anchor achieved an unprecedented feat last year by taking the city’s top job, trouncing the official nominee of Mr. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party in a triangular race. Ever since, Ms. Koike, who had served briefly as defence minister during Mr. Abe’s first term in 2006-07, has become accustomed to thriving in a crisis. In a repeat of her growing penchant to take on a male-dominated establishment, Ms. Koike floated a local party earlier this year, which spectacularly captured the Tokyo city assembly in July. Now, following the surprise announcement of polls to the Lower House of the Diet, she has launched the Party of Hope, drawing a number of parliamentarians from across the spectrum, including the ruling camp. She has even pledged that her new party would field candidates across the country. In fact, Ms. Koike has been quick to exploit Mr. Abe’s decision to seek a fresh mandate more than a year in advance as merely a device to shore up power.

But the Tokyo Governor, in turn, would also be mindful of criticism that she is abandoning her current responsibilities with the plunge into national politics. This is especially so given the coming Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, and any impression that she is abdicating the preparatory work could be damaging. Meanwhile, the divided and demoralised opposition Democratic Party, in the midst of a leadership crisis, could work to project Mr. Abe as a symbol of relative stability especially at a time when the North Korean crisis shows no sign of abating. His own personal ratings have also seen a remarkable revival, after allegations of his links to controversial transactions in a land deal had led to a significant dip in opinion polls. The Prime Minister still has his share of challenges to contend with. A new anti-conspiracy legislation to combat terrorism was criticised for lack of public scrutiny and for incorporating intrusive provisions on individual privacy and free speech. Even if he can win a re-election, regaining the current two-thirds majority for his party is far from certain. Such a tally is critical for Mr. Abe to legislate the controversial revision to Japan’s pacifist constitution, over which he has staked his reputation. In substantial terms, though, voters may have little to choose between the conservative nationalist stances advocated by Mr. Abe and Ms. Koike.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

El Nino may make a comeback in 2017, but unlikely to affect southwest monsoon (downtoearth,)

In 2016, the world witnessed the strongest El Nino on record, which resulted in above average temperatures. The year experiences record-breaking heat for nine consecutive months. It had also ruined the Indian monsoon for two years. After two successive droughts in 2014 and 2015, last year witnessed erratic rainfall both in terms of geographical spread and time. Thanks to El Nino, the southwest monsoon in 2014 and 2015 witnessed a deficit of 11 and 14 per cent respectively.

While the 2016 monsoon season in India saw 97 per cent rainfall, it was far less than the 106 per cent that the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had forecast in July. The lesser-than-expected rainfall, especially in the second half of the monsoon season, has been attributed to the absence of a strong La Nina phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that is known to help the Indian monsoon.

According to a recent forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there’s a 50 per cent chan…

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 21 December 2016

Q.1- Which of the following is/are correct regarding Nirbhaya missile?

1. It is a cruise missile
2. It is hypersonic in speed
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None

Q.2- Khanjar-III is military exercise between which of the following countries?

A. India and Russia
B. Russia and China
C. India and Kyrgyzstan
D. Russia and Afghanistan

Q.3- UPI has been in news recently, what is the full form of UPI?

A. Unified Payment Interchange
B. Unified Payment Interface
C. Unified process interchange
D. Unified process interface
 .
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Answer  1-A, 2 -C, 3-B

Indian Polity Elections (MCQ )

1. Who of the following has the responsibility of the registration of voters
a) Individual voters
b) Government
c) Election commission
d) Corporations


2. Democracy exists in India, without peoples participation and co operation democracy will fail. This implies that
a) Government should compel people to participate and cooperate with it
b) People from the government
c) People should participate and cooperate with the government
d) India should opt for the presidential system


3. Which of the following are not the functions of the election commission
1) Conduct of election for the post of the speaker and the deputy speaker, Lok sabha and the deputy chairman, Rajya sabha
2) Conduct of elections to the state legislative assemblies
3) Deciding on all doubts and disputes arising out of elections

a) 1 and 2
b) 1 and 3
c) 2 and 3
d) 2

4. Which of the following electoral systems have not been adopted for various elections in India
1) System of direct elections on the basis of adult suffrage
2…