An article entitled “Japan left by Shinzo Abe” was published on the syndicate website of the world press on August 28. The author is Bill Emmert, former editor in chief of the economist. The article summarizes and analyzes Abe’s political achievements and legacy, and forecasts the policy stance of his successor. The article is compiled as follows: < / P > < p > Shinzo Abe resigned suddenly for health reasons, ending the term of office of Japan’s longest ruling prime minister. Abe is also the world leader most keen to play golf with us president Donald Trump. Since his youth, Abe has been suffering from ulcerative colitis, a debilitating disease that forced him to resign in 2007 after a year as prime minister. That departure also coincided with serious political difficulties, which made his return to power in 2012 more noticeable. In view of the high attention paid to the two recent visits to the hospital, the recurrence of Abe’s old disease is likely to be true. However, with the Tokyo Olympics postponed until next summer, it is hard to believe that he will choose to step down now, unless he also feels huge political pressure. The novel coronavirus pneumonia’s
is not surprising. Because of the international perspective, the decline of Abe’s support rate seems surprising because his country has fewer than 1300 cases of new crown pneumonia deaths compared with the United States or most European countries, and the economic downturn is also small. However, Abe’s government has been criticized for its lack of communication on epidemic policies and seemingly careless response to economic policies. Moreover, after Abe took office for a long time, the accumulated scandals and the people’s boredom with the unchanging leadership also had a negative impact on him. In addition, people are increasingly disappointed with the economic situation and living standards. Abe’s much publicized economic plan – “abenomics” – includes accelerating monetary expansion, implementing a series of fiscal stimulus measures, and discussing structural reforms conducive to growth. But the results have not been ideal, especially for a leader who has won three general elections and enjoys a long-term absolute majority in Parliament. < / P > < p > “abenomics” is publicized as a plan to overcome deflation, accelerate economic growth and increase Japan’s birth rate in the second stage. Although prices have stopped falling, hopes for a return to moderate inflation and wage growth have been dashed. Although the economic growth from 2012 to the current epidemic period was slightly better than that of the previous decade, this is largely because it did not suffer the same huge impact as the 2008 financial crisis or the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Japan’s birth rate remains unchanged. < / P > < p > indeed, Abe’s government has implemented some beneficial small-scale reforms, including the formulation of new corporate governance norms, the improvement of enterprise information disclosure system, the increase of parenting expenses, and the stricter restrictions on dangerous long hours of overtime. But the plan to deepen reform to increase competition either failed to materialize or was blocked by vested interest groups. Nearly 40% of the labor force is still in an unstable state of short-term contract. Although more women are employed, few women enter leadership positions. < p > < p > Abe also failed to achieve his greatest ambition: to amend the 1947 constitution, normalize the status of Japan’s armed forces, and abolish the pacifism provisions in the constitution. The Japanese people are still against such changes. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito party jointly won an absolute majority of seats in parliament, and Komeito party has the foundation of pacifism. Since amending the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of Parliament and a simple majority in the referendum, Abe has not been able to realize his dream. As for his political legacy, people will remember him as a traditionalist. Within the LDP, he leads a group of “neoconservatives”, who advocate the establishment of a strong government, central leadership and established values, and, most importantly, a more active and independent foreign and national defense policy. On these key issues, he has made good on his promises. < / P > < p > sometimes, he humbly seeks to build a close relationship with trump. But he also sought to give Japan a more autonomous role on issues such as trade. In 2017, Abe took the lead in rescuing the trans Pacific Partnership Agreement after the trump government withdrew. Japan has also negotiated a bilateral free trade agreement with the EU and will soon reach a similar agreement with the UK. < / P > < p > Abe also strengthened Japan’s defense relations with India. However, because of his emphasis on revisionist views of Japan’s wartime history, he made Japan’s relations with South Korea, Japan’s closest neighbor and also a security ally of the United States, drop to the lowest point in history after South Korea turned left. < / P > < p > within the LDP, the race between potential successors has been going on in secret for months. But it is already clear that no major competitor – Defense Minister Taro Kono, former foreign minister Wenxiong Kishida, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kan Yiwei, or even Abe’s old rival Shi pomao – will seek to soften Japan’s foreign policy stance. If there is any difference, it is that they may compete to be more hard on security issues, advocate increasing military spending, and improve the pre emptive strike capability against North Korea’s missile threat. < / P > < p > since the end of the US occupation in 1952, no Japanese Prime Minister has seriously considered breaking with the US in any form. However, recognizing that the United States has become a less trustworthy and cooperative ally, especially during Trump’s administration, Abe has laid the foundation for Japan to build its own network of partners around the world and make a more independent voice. This strategy will remain.