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China Times: Japan's prime minister making comeback

China Times: Japan's prime minister making comeback

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe led his ruling coalition to a decisive victory in an upper house election July 21, ending the so-called "twisted parliament," or divided government, in which opposing parties had each controlled one house of Parliament. Abe last assumed the position of prime minister in 2006 but stepped down after just a year in office. Since his reelection in December 2012, Abe has been making a comeback with a "three arrows" agenda of hyper-easy monetary policy, fiscal stimulus and growth strategy dubbed "Abenomics," in the hope of ending Japan's decades-long deflation and economic sluggishness. There is nothing special about Abe's policy, but he has got to the heart of Japan's economic problems. Complemented by the high efficiency of his Cabinet, "Abenomics" has quickly helped the new leader regain popular support. In Taiwan, however, the approval ratings of President Ma Ying-jeou, who serves concurrently as chairman of his ruling Kuomintang, are continuing to fall. Compared with Abe, Ma is too cautious, timid and reluctant to change. He has ideas but lacks action, as shown in his handling of issues such as the stock gains tax, fuel and electricity rate hikes, the 12-year education program, the dispute over the demolition of homes in Dapu, Miaoli County, and the death of Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu. The experience of Japan tells us that the key reason why Taiwan cannot achieve what Japan has been able to lies with the country's leader. (Editorial abstract -- July 24, 2013) (By Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-10-21 20:12 GMT+08:00