Saturday, October 21, 2017

Tracking Koike's Ambition 20

Tracking Koike's Ambition, Day 20, 20 October 2017

At some point, it will be worth lining up all of Koike's 'end of the day' videos she has been posting and gauging the tory of her campaign by the content and her expression. She appears to remain upbeat despite the election probably not going to plan, if the plan was to have Kibo in a commanding position from opposition. (I don't think the plan was for her to be PM this time, but rather to make giant strides towards that position for next time.)

Koike spent most of the day in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. She returned to Tokyo in the evening to attend one more rally for one of her candidates. It is a punishing schedule which, as noted elsewhere, most leaders have been pursuing. 

Koike in the rain; the Emperor has a plan
An interesting choice of battleground for Koike. Kibo has just four candidates standing in Hokkaido which has twelve single member electorates. All four candidates are on the party list along with two others, making a total of six candidates for Hokkaido. The party has attained something of its desired parity here, with a fifty-fifty male-female split. 

In other news, the government announced its decision about the long-deliberated abdication plans of the Emperor, something which has the potential to play into the election campaign but which, by the end of the day, most parties seemed to have avoided. The Emperor is constitutionally, a symbol of the people, all power having been stripped from the position following World War Two. The current emperor is more inclined to a pacifist stance, and resolutely anti-war. Those on the right of the political spectrum, including the nationalist Nippon Kaigi (closely affiliated with the LDP and Koike is a member), would have the emperor restored to his (and only his, they oppose female succession) former prewar, god-like preeminence. 

The Emperor will step down on 31 March 2019 and the new reign of his son, the crown Prince, will commence on 1 April, along with a new era name. This coincides with the beginning of the financial, academic and work year (and has nothing to do with April Fools Day). 

The timing is significant and given that constitutional reform will be a big part of the next parliament, the emperor 'who does not have a political role, nor does he interfere with politics' will nonetheless represent the will of the people in the constitutional debate. 

Tomorrow is the last day of campaigning. Rain is forecast. And that doesn't augur well for the voter turnout...we made some forecasts in class today, a free lunch to the student who gets it right! Rain literally dampens peoples incentive to go and vote, particularly given it is not compulsory. The main parties will hold their final rallies in Tokyo, the LDP in Akihabara at 7.00pm (where PM Abe is due to appear), the RikkenDs at Shinjuku at 5.00pm, Kibo in Ikebukuro at 7.30 and the JCP on the other side of Ikebukuro station at 7.17pm...I have a bit of running around to do (and choices to make). 

Until tomorrow.