By Cal Widdall. Originally posted at TokyoDesu.
In national elections over the weekend, Japanese voters across the country dragged themselves to polling stations and sighed heavily as they halfheartedly placed votes for whichever candidate they believed would be the least catastrophic. As predicted, the melancholic masses reluctantly conceded this person is probably Shinzo Abe, a man whose approval rating was below 30% the last time he held the position, making him almost as hated there as he is here in China.
Concerns have been raised that Abe’s hawkish stances will increase tension between Japan and other regional powers such as Korea and China but at Shanghaiist, we can’t think of any reasons why that would be – except for the fact that he supported the “Nanjing massacre, what Nanjing massacre?” textbooks, denies that South Korean comfort women were co-erced into sex, claims that Japanese Class A war criminals were not criminals in the eyes of domestic law, and wants to rescind previous apologies for wartime aggression. Besides that though, we can’t think of any reason why he might be unpopular with Japan’s neighbours.
Despite promising to take a tough stance on the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and strengthen the military, Abe has unconvincingly claimed that he wishes to build relations with China by sharing “the recognition that having good relations is in the national interests of both countries.” Judging by his following statement, the key to this relationship is smug patronisation, “China lacks this recognition a little bit. I want them to think anew about mutually beneficial strategic relations.”
Meanwhile, Naoki Inose collected a record 4 million votes in the Tokyo gubernational election to replace Shintaro Ishihara as the capital’s incumbent governor. Unlike
better other candidates, Inose doesn’t dress as superman during debates, demand his opponents slit their bellies or make rock music, and is a pretty boring choice in our opinion.
Cross posted from www.TokyoDesu.com