Shinzo Abe has been in power for a long time and his political legacy is still unclear?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been in office for 2799 days since 2012 until August 24 this year, surpassing the record of his grandfather Sato Rongzuo and becoming the longest consecutive prime minister in Japan. Under the leadership of Abe, the LDP won six consecutive victories in the Senate election, forming a political pattern of Abe’s “strong one”. However, Japan’s economy shrank in the second quarter of this year, the largest decline in 40 years, the future of the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games is uncertain, and the epidemic situation in the whole country has turned into a sharp downward trend since July. What is most noteworthy is that Abe, 65, was admitted to the hospital for examination on the 17th of this month after he was exposed to “vomiting blood”. There were various speculations about his health. Although Abe ended his vacation on the 19th and returned to work as scheduled, Kyodo News Agency reported that the prime minister returned to work with half work and half rest every day for three consecutive days in order to get as much rest as possible. The LDP’s “celebration” scheduled for August 27 was also postponed. Japanese media generally believed that Abe’s health condition was taken into account. The term of office of Abe’s LDP president will end in September next year. Whether there will be unexpected variables in the remaining one year or so will lead to the undercurrent in Japanese politics. “In order to be safe in health management, he received a medical examination,” Abe told the media at the prime minister’s official residence on the 19th after finishing his three-day leave But he did not elaborate on his physical condition. In this regard, the opposition party asked Abe to explain his illness in person. Zhongzhi Yoshida, Secretary General of the Social Democratic Party, even pointed out at a press conference that if Abe is not in good health, replacing the prime minister is also an option to be considered. Japanese media “j-cast” reported on the 17th that “Abe will resign in September and Taro Aso will take over temporarily” in Japanese political circles. Wang Taiping, a researcher with the China foundation for International Studies and former Chinese Consul General in Osaka, told the surging news that Abe’s health condition was unknown, but he should not resign on his own initiative immediately, but may dissolve the parliament’s agenda substantially in advance. < p > < p > Abe has been suffering from ulcerative colitis for a long time, and the specific health status has not been disclosed. There was a precedent in Japanese history to conceal the prime minister’s illness. In April 2000, Keizo Obuchi, then Prime Minister of Japan, felt ill due to cerebral infarction and left the back door of his official residence for emergency hospitalization. At that time, it was reported that “prime minister Kobayashi was studying and collating materials at his official residence”, and he failed to disclose the real situation of his hospitalization in time, and he died six weeks later. < / P > < p > “Abe’s actual physical condition is the biggest factor that decides whether he will stay or not, such as the rebound of the epidemic situation and the economic recession, which are all ranked second.” Jiang Yuechun, director of the Institute of world economics at the Chinese Academy of international studies, pointed out to the surging news that if Abe really had serious health problems, he could not achieve his political ideal at the cost of his life. As a mature politician, what Abe does next depends on his personal decision. According to the latest poll released by Kyodo News Agency on August 23, the support rate of Abe’s cabinet has dropped to 36%, which is the second lowest support rate since Abe came back to power. Analysts believe health concerns could be a big factor in the support ratings. Japan’s “Daily News” conducted a national poll on August 22 on “who is the right candidate for the next prime minister”. The results showed that Shi bomao, former Secretary of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, and defense minister and taro No. were ranked first and second respectively, and Abe ranked fourth, two places behind the same topic in June. The discussion on the successor of the “post Abe era” began as early as last September when the Japanese cabinet “changed blood”. Jiang Yuechun believes that even if Abe suddenly disbands parliament due to health problems, the LDP is confident that it can win, its prestige is still there, and it has obvious advantages over other political parties. Moreover, the LDP should have been well prepared. Many people are eager to try and are considering the issue of “post Abe era”. Therefore, in the event of any emergency, there will naturally be a successor in the LDP, but it is not clear who is most likely to replace Abe. No matter whether Abe will end his term of office ahead of schedule, as of August 24, Abe has become the longest serving prime minister and the longest consecutive prime minister in post-war Japan, which will be recorded in the annals of history. After Junichiro Koizumi stepped down, Japan’s prime minister politics seemed to be a revolving door. Seven prime ministers were replaced in the six years from 2006 to 2012, and Abe’s long-term governance has attracted much attention at home and abroad. In November last year, when Abe set a new record for the number of Japanese prime ministers in office, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kan Yiwei said that Abe’s success largely depended on “putting forward economic priorities, successively implementing financial and fiscal policies, local innovation and other growth strategies.” The Japanese current affairs news agency reported on the 23rd that after Abe returned to the post of prime minister in 2012, he reflected on his previous experience of office failure, abandoning the ruling style of “idea first” and lack of pragmatic policies in the follow-up, proposing “abenomics” and giving priority to economic revitalization. “Japan economic news” 24 Daily said that in addition to the achievements in domestic affairs, Abe also vigorously promoted diplomacy and actively practiced “overlooking the globe diplomacy”. According to Jiang Yuechun’s analysis, Abe’s long-term governance is determined by internal and external factors. First of all, Abe has made some achievements in revitalizing the domestic economy. In the years before the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, Japan’s economy has maintained stable growth for a long time, which is a very important factor. Second, his diplomatic performance has also been generally recognized. He has handled all aspects of relations with the United States, China and Southeast Asia well. In terms of economy, after Abe came to power in 2012, Japan entered the expansion period of the 16th economic cycle after the World War II, known as “Abe economic boom”, which lasted for 71 months and ended, which was the second long economic boom period after the war. But Japan’s economy has been in recession for three consecutive quarters from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020. Reuters reported on August 17 that the record economic contraction will make the achievements of abenomics disappear. In terms of foreign affairs, the documents released by the Ministry of foreign affairs of Japan show that from January 2013 to January 2020, Abe visited 80 countries and regions, and the number of countries visited exceeded that of Japanese prime ministers. In the past seven years, Abe’s flight distance during his visit exceeded 1.58 million kilometers, equivalent to 39 circles around the earth. However, Japan and South Korea have been at loggerheads over issues such as forced labor compensation and comfort women in World War II, and their relations have deteriorated in recent years. In addition, the BBC reported in June that Japan was in a dilemma because of tensions between China and the United States. < / P > < p > “Japan is in the crack between China and the United States, so it is difficult to choose a side station. It can neither follow the United States nor have to cater to it.” Wang Taiping believes that Japan is watching the results of the US general election and its Asia Pacific Policy after that. Japan’s political situation is surging and entering a period of turbulence, making it difficult for Japan to do anything in diplomacy. Moreover, the itinerary of the Chinese leader’s visit to Japan has been shelved, and the two sides have not held further discussions on this issue, and further observation is needed. When it comes to Japanese prime ministers, political legacy is an unavoidable topic. Sato Rongzuo takes “Okinawa return” as his political heritage, Yasuhiro Nakasone implements the “privatization of national railway” reform, and Junichiro Koizumi is proud of “postal privatization”. At a press conference at the prime minister’s residence on July 31, a reporter asked what Abe’s political legacy would be. The Chief Cabinet Secretary responded: “it is still one year before the end of his term of office. It is too early to review the achievements of the regime.” On August 22, Kyodo News Agency commented that Abe’s political legacy is still vague, and whether he can leave a result that matches the record of “longest ruling” has been questioned. Abe has staked part of his political legacy on hosting the Olympic Games, hoping to boost Japan’s tourism and consumption boom, but the outbreak of the new crown epidemic has left all this in the dark. In this case, amending the constitution became one of his last opportunities to consolidate his political legacy. < p > < p > “amending the constitution is a historical mission”. At the LDP rally in January this year, Abe called on the whole party to implement the constitutional amendment. The president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) once again stressed that he wanted to complete the political speech of the Liberal Democratic Party on July 16. Abe advocates that the first and second paragraphs of Article 9 of the peace constitution should be retained, namely, “abandoning war” and “not maintaining the land, sea, air force and other fighting forces, and not recognizing the state’s right to engage in war”, but the existence of the self-defense force, including its status and functions, should be retained. In fact, the amendment of the constitution has been the obsession of the LDP for decades since it was founded in 1955, but it has never been realized. < p > < p > in the Japanese Senate election in July last year, more than two-thirds of the Senate majority was lost. This means that Abe’s government has been unable to force the amendment of the constitution, and can only reorganize the constitutional amendment camp through “strategies” such as attracting some conservative forces of the opposition party. Japanese public opinion generally believes that this result shows that Abe’s goal of “implementing the new constitution by 2020” may not be achieved. In addition to the failure to achieve the goal of amending the constitution, the territorial struggle between the four northern islands of Japan and Russia was fruitless, and the problem of “North Korea kidnapping Japanese” in the late 1970s has yet to be solved. The current affairs news agency pointed out that whether the epidemic prevention and control and the successful holding of the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games could affect Abe’s ruling evaluation.