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The Collective
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

VIa the BBC: Japanese prime minister resigns

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced he is resigning after less than a year in office.

[…]

Visibly distressed, he told a packed news conference that Japan needed a new leader to “fight against terrorism”.

While there were conflicts over Japanese support of the US in Afghanistan, it doesn’t appear to me that fighting terrorism is much of the issue here. Still, it is remarkable the degree to which the topic permeates global politics.

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Filed under: Global Politics, Asia | |

4 Comments

  1. […] Poliblogger has more trenchant analysis of the Japanese resignation, which over-privileges the media obsession with the GWOT (Global War on Terror), though he gets that isn’t really what the resignation is about. Still, with the relatively unipolar world we have wrought and the ideological World War IV nature of the present conflicts between civilization and nihilistic chaos (sorry Dr. Taylor, I largely agree with Podhoretz), it seems inevitable that that issue would be important in almost every election. […]

    Pingback by Pros and Cons » Transitions between governments in mature representative republics versus transitions in immature ones … — Wednesday, September 12, 2007 @ 11:48 am

  2. Still, it is remarkable the degree to which the topic permeates global politics.

    The issue here doesn’t appear to be global poltics, but rather Japanese politics.

    And you are correct that terrorism is not the main issue with Abe’s resignation. The failure of the re-fueling law was just the culmination of popular reaction against perceived incompetence of abe and the LDP.

    Remember, in July the LDP was trounced in upper house elections. The areas where there was the strongest anti-LDP sentiment were in the poorest prefectures, suggesting that there was a reaction against Abe’s phlegmatic economic policies.

    Furthermore, he made some stupid cabinet minister decisions-particularly with regard to the Sata and Homma corruption issues- and some major Bush-style incompetencies. The country’s equivalent to the Social Secuirty Agency lost 30 million records a few months ago. Abe handled the situation poorly, trying to blame previous administrations.

    I think it is important to reconginze internal dynamics of Japanese politics to explain Abe’s resignation rather than view the matter through topics that are more important in the US.

    Comment by Ratoe — Wednesday, September 12, 2007 @ 11:49 am

  3. I wholly agree, and really was what I was getting at in my glib commentary.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, September 12, 2007 @ 11:52 am

  4. Also: I was trying to get at the degree to which the rhetorical imperative of talking about “terrorism” occurs.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, September 12, 2007 @ 11:53 am

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