Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is riding a popularity wave unseen by six immediate predecessors as he pushes his Bank of Japan nominees through a divided parliament, raising the odds of the ruling party winning a July election.
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto has become a TV icon with attacks on everything from bureaucracy to nuclear power and the political feuding that has stifled the economy. His success may be about to make things worse.
None of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan ’s four predecessors lasted more than a year in office. He may be set to avoid a similar fate as the country’s strongest earthquake and a nuclear crisis rule out the likelihood of an early election.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said he will consider his political future and do “what’s best for the people of Japan” after polls showed four in five voters want him to step down six weeks before mid-term elections.
One year after Japan’s most powerful earthquake ever, the nation’s top two political parties have record-low approval ratings, signaling widespread discontent at the government’s response to the disaster.
The Democratic Party of Japan came to power in 2009 pledging to restore vitality to a country burdened by deflation, an aging population and the world’s largest debt . Now, the party itself needs resuscitation.