Shinzo Abe

How they see it

The election platform of Japan's main opposition party

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 December, 2012, 5:21am


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1. The Asahi Shimbun

The Liberal Democratic Party insists in its manifesto that it will create "national defence forces" by amending the constitution, adopt a hardline diplomatic stance on territorial issues and oppose giving foreign residents in Japan the right to vote in elections. The LDP's manifesto clearly reflects the right-wing views of its president, Shinzo Abe. The Democratic Party (DPJ) attacks the LDP at the start of its manifesto: "[The LDP's] tough posturing and anti-foreignism … can only lead the country and its people down a dangerous path." On specific policies, the DPJ stresses its difference from the LDP by pledging to end Japan's reliance on nuclear power by the end of the 2030s. However, the party is pathetically short on detail. (Tokyo)

2. China Daily

When Shinzo Abe, head of Japan's main opposition party, talks about his vision for diplomacy and security, East Asia has every reason to prick up its ears. Opinion polls in Japan suggest [his party] will win the House of Representatives election, positioning Abe to become the next prime minister. His party proposes boosting the budget and manpower of the self-defence forces and the coastguard … Japan has territorial disputes with China, [South] Korea and Russia. Abe sent a congratulatory message to newly elected Chinese leader Xi Jinping expressing the hope that … ties between the two countries [could be] enhanced. But his party's steps to upgrade Japan's military send a very different message. (Beijing)

3. The Korea Herald

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party put forward the slogan "Recover Japan" in announcing last week a series of policy pledges. … The election pledges, announced by Shinzo Abe, have not drawn favourable responses, but criticism and concerns. What is worrisome are proclaimed moves to strengthen Japan's military power, harden its stance in regional territorial disputes and gloss over wartime atrocities. The LDP said it would consider stationing public servants on uninhabited islands at the centre of a territorial row with China and hold [an] event annually to claim Japan's sovereignty over islets controlled by South Korea. … It would change historical education to justify Japan's past history of aggression. (Seoul)