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Kotegawa on Japan Elections—Abe Victory Is About Trump and Putin

Oct. 22, 2017 (EIRNS)—Daisuke Kotegawa, former official at Japan’s Ministry of Finance, gave EIR his analysis of today’s overwhelming victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party in the snap election for the lower house.

The LDP with its coalition partner Komeito is likely to retain its supermajority wih two-thirds of the seats, according to most exit polls. The new opposition party headed by the recently elected Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike, did not win a significant vote. Kotegawa said of Koike, she made a mistake by accepting only select members of the former leading opposition Democratic Party, which split into three factions this year, rather than forming an opposition coalition.

While the press, both in Japan and in the West, claim the election was primarily about North Korea and Abe’s effort to change the pacifist Constitution, Kotegawa said the most important issue was Abe’s strong relations with both Presidents Trump and Putin. Kotegawa was recently in the United States during the International Monetary Fund meeting, in Rhodes for the Russia-sponsored Rhodes Forum, and in Moscow for other meetings, where he said both the Russians and the Americans are fully supporting Abe’s effort to strengthen relations among the three nations, and with China as well.

Asked about Abe’s domestic economic policies, which have followed the loose money approach of the Bush/Obama years, and about Abe’s relations with China, Kotegawa said that these will be greatly influenced by the policies Trump adopts, presuming he can defeat the coup attempt against him by the war party led by Mueller. Trump will spend two nights in Japan starting Nov. 4, before going on to South Korea and China, where he will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

It is likely that this victory for the LDP will result in Abe being elected for a third term as head of the party next year, giving him another three-year term and making him the longest-serving Prime Minister of Japan.