The Sorry State of Japan’s Opposition Parties Ahead of Sunday’s Snap Elections

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Party of Hope leader Yuriko Koike and other leaders of Japan’s major political parties pose for photographers, Tokyo, Oct. 8, 2017 (AP photo by Koji Sasahara).
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Party of Hope leader Yuriko Koike and other leaders of Japan’s major political parties pose for photographers, Tokyo, Oct. 8, 2017 (AP photo by Koji Sasahara).

When he recently called for snap elections to be held on Oct. 22, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe likely viewed his rising approval ratings in recent opinion polls as creating opportune conditions for him to consolidate power. Despite what appeared to be a serious challenge from his one-time colleague Yuriko Koike, who now heads an opposition party but has decided not to run herself, any threat from the opposition to Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party has since dimmed. In an email interview, J. Berkshire Miller, a senior visiting fellow with the Japan Institute of International Affairs in Tokyo and […]

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