Thursday, August 18

Japan election: what you need to know


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Japan’s conservative coalition government was projected to increase its majority in the upper house of parliament in an election two days after the assassination of dominant politician and power broker Shinzo Abe.

* Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, who sought to lift the economy out of chronic deflation with his bold “Abenomics” policies, beef up the military and counter China’s growing clout, died after being gunned down during a campaign speech two days before the election.

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* The of death the namesake of Japan’s “Abenomics” policy makes any immediate challenge to Abe’s legacy highly unlikely but could eventually allow Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to phase out Abe’s government spending and monetary stimulus.

* The upper house election result will have implications for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s grip on the LDP and his ability to tackle main policy issues from inflation to nuclear power and defense.

* The rising cost of living is turning into a thhorny election issue as opposition parties peg blame for rising prices rises on Kishida’s policies.

* Farmer Kiyoharu Hirao has started to add more rice to the mix he gives his cattle to stretch his money further as a plunging yen drives up the cost of imported corn for animal feed. That makes him, along with other farmers facing similar hardship, angry at the LDP that once held an almost unshakable grip on rural Japan.

* Japan’s push to restart nuclear reactors, shut down after the Fukushima disaster a decade ago, could get a tailwind as the governing coalition looks set for gains in the election.

* Key facts about the upper house election and important numbers to watch.

* Key facts about main political parties. (Compiled by William Mallard)



financialpost.com