Whether Abe's dream to ensure re-election will come true remains unclear

安倍如意算盘能否如意

Source
China Military Online
Editor
Li Jiayao
Time
2017-10-10

周永生,外交学院日本研究中心副主任

By Zhou Yongsheng, deputy director of the Japanese Studies Center of China Foreign Affairs University

9月25日下午,日本首相安倍晋三在首相官邸召开记者会,正式宣布在临时国会伊始的28日解散众议院,并于下月提前举行大选。

BEIJING, Sept. 27 (ChinaMil) -- Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe held a press conference at his official residence on Monday afternoon, at which he announced that he will dissolve the House of Representatives on September 28 and will have the general election in advance next month.

众议院的解散权被称为日本首相的“传家宝刀”。一般来说,首相总会在对执政党最有利的时机解散众议院举行大选,增加连任的把握。就现在形势来看,选择这个时机解散众议院举行大选,对安倍而言确实存在诸多有利因素。

The right to dissolve the House of Representatives is a trump card of the Japanese prime minister. Generally speaking, the prime minister would dissolve it and hold the general election at a time most favorable for the ruling party in order to ensure re-election. Given the current situation, dissolving the House of Representatives and holding the election now is indeed beneficial for Shinzo Abe in many ways.

一方面,自8月3日改组内阁之后,安倍内阁支持率有所回升。此前受森友学园事件、加计学园事件等丑闻影响,安倍支持率一路下滑,曾一度跌至危及政权的“危险水域”。在这种情况下,安倍组建新内阁,踢出了一些声名狼藉的阁员,使支持率有所回升。

On the one hand, Shinzo Abe has seen rising support rate after he restructured the Cabinet on August 3, 2017. Due to the Moritomo Gakuen and Kake Gakuen school scandals, Shinzo Abe's support slumped previously and reached a low level that endangered his administration at one point. Therefore, he formed a new Cabinet and kicked off some infamous members to save the support rate.

另一方面,在野党一盘散沙,潜在竞争者尚未做好准备。日本最大在野党民进党刚刚改选党代表,党内丑闻不断,思想难以统一,民意的支持率仅仅维持在10%左右,无法和安倍及其领导的自民党相抗衡。可能同安倍竞争的“黑马”小池百合子,虽然在之前的东京都地方选举中大获全胜,但在组党事宜上动作迟缓。其他政党由于相互之间的种种矛盾,难以真正联合起来抗衡自民党。在这种情况下,提前举行大选,对安倍和自民党而言非常有利。

On the other hand, Japan's opposition parties are not united and potential rivals are not fully ready. The Democratic Party, the largest opposition party in Japan, recently elected party members and had many scandals. Its public support stays around 10%, unable to compete with Abe's Liberal Democratic Party. The "dark horse" Yuriko Koike had an overwhelming success at the Tokyo Prefecture election, but she is slow in forming her party, and other parties cannot be united to compete with the Liberal Democratic Party due to their own conflicts.

应该看到,解散众议院只是安倍政权“续命”以及巩固党内外权力的工具,为修宪做准备才是其最终目的。

As a result, holding the general election in advance is good for Abe and his party. We must see that dissolving the House of Representatives is just a step to continue the Abe administration and consolidate his power both inside and outside the party, and revising the Constitution is his ultimate goal.

此前,自民党、公明党、维新党等修宪势力,在国会众参两院中所占议席比例高达2/3,可以确保修宪草案在国会获得通过,但日本仍有相当比例的国民反对安倍修宪。如果其能在大选中继续保持三分之二以上多数,安倍将有更大的信心来推动修宪进程。事实上,9月3日朝鲜进行核试验后,已经有一部分民众转而支持安倍的强硬路线和修宪主张。

Previously the Constitution-revising forces such as the Liberal Democratic Party, Komei Party and Japan Innovation Party held two thirds of the seats at the two houses, so they could make sure the motion that called for the constitutional revision would be passed, but a large proportion of Japanese people are against this motion. If those parties will maintain such majority seats in the upcoming general election, Abe will be more confident to push the revision. As a matter of fact, some Japanese turned to support Abe's tough stance and revision proposal after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had the nuclear test on September 3, 2017.

然而,当前的形势并不意味着安倍可以高枕无忧。

However, Abe cannot rest assured now.

安倍上月改组内阁之前,其支持率大幅下滑,已经反映出日本民众对安倍内阁及其领导的自民党的不满。安倍决定解散众议院的消息一经传出,便遭到在野党的猛烈批评。他们认为,安倍选择在这个时间解散众议院,是为了逃避在国会被追究森友学园和加计学园等问题而采取的自保之计。在朝鲜半岛局势令人担忧的当下,安倍为了自身利益,制造政治空白,置国家安全于不顾,是“只顾自保、不顾大义”的不负责任之举。

Abe's support slumped before he restructured the Cabinet last month, which reflected the Japanese public's discontent with their prime minister and his Liberal Democratic Party. The moment the news went out that Abe decided to dissolve the House of Representatives, he was slashed by opposition parties, who believed that Abe made such a decision at such a moment in order to shirk responsibilities for the school scandals. They said that when the Korean Peninsula situation is so worrisome, Abe's decision to create a political blank for his own interests regardless of national security is an irresponsible act that shows no consideration for the big picture.

民众的不信任、来自在野党的批评,都可能会导致自民党选票数量的下降。果真如此,安倍能否在明年自民党总裁选举中稳操胜券,也将存有疑问。前一段时间安倍支持率下滑之时,自民党内的一些大佬,包括石破茂、岸田文雄等人已经摩拳擦掌,准备一旦时机成熟,就公开成立选举班子,与安倍一争高下。如果此次提前大选,安倍拼凑的修宪势力所获议席超不过2/3,其在党内凝聚力将进一步下滑,党内实力派人物可能会取而代之。

Public mistrust and criticism from the opposition parties may lead to the falling vote for the Liberal Democratic Party. In that case, whether Abe will be elected as the party's president again next year is unknown. When Abe's support slumped earlier, other key members of the Liberal Democratic Party such as Shigeru Ishiba and Fumio Kishida were eager to take his place, and they are ready to form the election team to contend with Abe once the timing is right. If the Constitution-revising forces gathered by Abe cannot get over 2/3 of the seats in the advanced election, his cohesion in the party will further weaken and other powerful members of the party are likely to replace him.

因此,对安倍而言,提前大选看上去似乎是精心筹划、占尽先机,但最终结果如何,安倍的如意算盘能否如意,还是一个未知数。

Therefore, although the advanced election looks like a carefully designed and preemptive step for Abe, what the end result will be and whether Abe will have his way remains unclear.

 

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