Japan's PM Shinzo Abe has seen his approval ratings collapse for the first time since his 'devalue-to-glory' strategy was unveiled a year ago. Kyodo News reported, support for Mr. Abe fell 10.3ppt to 47.6%, while Japan News Network reported a 13.9-point fall to 54.6% as WSJ reports, public concern over the controversial secrecy bill (designed by Kafka, inspired by Hitler) and its nationalist overtones merely exacerbated Japanese people's concerns about their pocketbooks (as incomes stagnate and costs rise). As Abe plays lip service to economic issues (with a very Maduro-like speech recently on profit margins and wage increases), there is little but public outrage to hinder his plans as his ruling Liberal Democratic Party has big majorities in both houses of parliament, with no election scheduled until 2016. So much for Abenomics...
*JAPAN UPPER HOUSE PANEL ADOPTS SECRECY BILL AMID UPROAR
*ABE: SECRETS BILL NECESSARY TO PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTY
The right to know has now been officially superseded by the right of the government to make sure you don’t know what they don’t want you to know. It might all seems like a bad joke, except for the Orwellian nature of the bill and a key Cabinet member expressing his admiration for the Nazis, "just as Germany needed a strong man like Hitler to revive defeated Germany, Japan needs people like Abe to dynamically induce change."
All three media surveys signaled public concern after the ruling coalition steamrolled the passage of a controversial bill to set stricter penalties for intelligence breaches amid objections from opposition parties.
Around 80% of those questioned in all three polls felt that the bill wasn't thoroughly debated in parliament.
In a news conference Monday, Mr. Abe said it was necessary to push through the secrecy bill quickly to protect public safety, but acknowledged the criticism.
"We must sincerely and humbly accept the people's harsh criticism," Mr. Abe said, adding that "I myself should have taken more time to carefully explain" the bill.
Mr. Abe's high poll numbers early in his rule created a virtuous circle that allowed him to push through policies that were seen as aiding the economy and lifting the stock market, which in turn further sustained his popularity, allowing him to win a key election, and extend his power.
His sustained high support rate over the past year has been unusual among recent Japanese prime ministers. Starting with Mr. Abe's own first one-year term, which ended abruptly in September 2007 after his party lost an election and his popularity plunged, Japan ran through six unpopular prime ministers in six years.
One big change for Mr. Abe between his first term and his second has been his focus in his most recent stint on pulling Japan's economy out of its long slump. Long seen as a conservative nationalist, devoted to building up Japan's military and global clout, he devoted much of his first term to those causes.
“The Cabinet must understand the risks involved in moving ahead with Mr. Abe’s agenda,” Mr. Nakano said. “It faces a tough decision, whether to push ahead with Mr. Abe’s conservative goals, or to focus on Abenomics in a bid to revive popularity.”
So, it's for your own good Japan...
It seems Abe is going to need to raise that stock market even more to keep his popularity...
Meanwhile, the nationalist talk continues...
- *ABE:NO PROSPECT OF SUMMITS WITH CHINA, SOUTH KOREA NOW
And yet last night's speeches sounded awfully like an awakening of the Maduro-style -ism of Venezuela's control system "economy"
- *ABE: REAL BATTLE FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY STARTS NOW
- *ABE CALLS FOR COMPANIES TO BOOST WAGES MORE THAN PRICE GAINS
- *ABE SAYS TOYOTA, HITACHI EXECUTIVES PLEDGED TO RAISE WAGES
Raise wages, cut margins, or else... we can only hope this stress does not bring on another bout of chronic diarrhea (as none of these Japanese leaders are getting any younger).