Politics: Japan: New Prime Minister lawnches new govt with new cabinet and inherited policy of his predecessor
Japan has problems to face: At home, it has an aging population bound societally by a sense of ethnic solidarity, a unique language with a long literary history that continues to exfoliate major writers and film-makers, a tradition in the arts and design that remains distinctive -- and much more that sets it apart and unites its people. But its birth-rate has fallen considerably, and it must allow large numbers of low-wage workers to enter and live among its legacy population. With tourists, American forces, and English-language teachers it has already made a small initial adjustment, but the scale of newcomers it must receive will be a shock to its educational, medical, and other societal arrangments.
Abroad, Japan has the unfortunate need to cope with the proximity of the nuclearized North Korean military, while at the same time South Korea is one of the most likely sources of the new workers it needs. Trouble is, South Koreans are heavily industrialized and there are jobs available at home for most of its workforce -- will there be a flow of North Koreans in control of NorKor intel streaming in among the SoKor workers that will most likely arrive? Would Filipinos immigrate into the former enemy just for jobs -- that's also a real possiblity.
Besides the Korean complex, there's the monolith of Communist China that regularly breathes fire toward Japan, and is also equipped with nuclear weapnry, historic hatred of Japan, and conventional forces which include an increasingly strong navy. Japan has a difficult task of diplomacy and military readiness ahead of it. Military readiness increadingly includes changing the Japanese Constitution to allow a more pro-active armed forces and naval forces of its own. Amending the Japan Constitution will not aonly produce a heated discusssion at home, but will inflame the nuclearized Communists of China.
Against these two unfriendly neibours, Japan has considerable affinity to the free state of Taiwan -- also a democracy, also industrially robust, also under Communist threat from the mainland. Further both Japan and Taiwan are friends of the USA, and would look to close realtions with the A,mericans. Except that the US refuses to recognize Taiwan. It's time both Japan and the US recognize Taiwan and compaign aggressively for Taiwan's admission to the UN, Unesco, the World Health Orgnaization, and other international bodies from which it has been frozen out by those who unfairly accomodate the Hu Jintoa regime.
Asia > Japan
The man of the moment who has accepted responsiblity for shouldering these tasks and Japan's needs generally is Shinzo Abe. He is Japan'e new Prime Minister, a youthful 52. AP via International Herald Tribune reports:
The new Japanese prime minister's priority list has few departures from his predecessor. Shinzo Abe wants a stronger Japan, a robust economy and a trimmed-down government. He wants a close alliance with the United States in both trade and security.At the Liberal Dempocratic Party convention that chose Abe from among the contending canddidates, 464 out of 703 voted for the new Prime Minister. "He won because he is so popular, not just in the party but in the country as a whole, the BBC's Chris Hogg in Tokyo says."
But when it comes to political style, Abe is worlds away from his former boss, Junichiro Koizumi.
Though equally media savvy, relatively young and well-groomed, Abe lacks Koizumi's eccentric charisma, his fiery rhetorical flare and the penchant for high-profile moments of levity. Instead of Koizumi's rapid fire, Abe speaks in careful, measured tones.
That new style was on full display in the first few hours of Abe's premiership Tuesday, when he named a Cabinet studded with fellow conservatives and ruling party stalwarts, but without a standout talent or unified direction.
"There were no surprises as there were in the Koizumi theater," Kyodo News agency bemoaned in an editorial late Tuesday. "The boat set off from the shore very quietly."
In terms of policy, however, Abe, who cruised to an easy victory in the parliamentary vote for prime minister on Tuesday, will provide a high level of continuity from his predecessor.
He vowed to pick up where Koizumi left off, pledging to overhaul his country's pacifist constitution, push through further economic reforms, and strengthen the already tight relationship with the United States.