Although Prime Minister Abe’s decision to postpone the planned hike in the consumption tax was popular with voters, resulting in a commanding majority for his coalition government in the December 2014 lower house election, it could spell trouble further down the road for the nation’s public finances. Prescriptions for fiscal consolidation are quite simple, but politics, argues Senior Fellow Sota Kato, will likely get in the way of any serious attempts to restore fiscal health.
The Fukushima nuclear accident turned Japan’s energy policy on its head, throwing into relief problem areas that had escaped scrutiny before the disaster. Electricity system reform is indispensable to rebuilding Japan’s energy policy and ensuring the success of Abenomics. This article by Research Fellow Hikaru Hiranuma was uploaded in September 2014 on the website of the Center for Asian Studies, Institut Français des Relations Internationales (Ifri), as part of its Asie.Visions series of electronic publications. It is reprinted here with Ifri's permission.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to expand the scope of self-defense activities permitted by the Japanese Constitution have met with resistance from some members of his own coalition. Tokyo Foundation President and Senior Fellow Masahiro Akiyama discusses the July cabinet decision to revise the interpretation of Article 9 and the hurdles Japan must clear to expand the role of the Self-Defense Forces to make a proactive contribution to peace.
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