Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Friday, October 20, 2017 08:36:13 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Abe, Koike trade blows as Japan election campaign kicks off

photo by AP photo

Japan\'s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is facing an unexpected challenge from Tokyo Governor and head of the Party of Hope Yuriko Koike.

By
11th-Oct-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

AFP, Tokyo :
Tokyo's popular governor Yuriko Koike and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe traded barbs Tuesday as the gloves came off for the official start of a snap election campaign in the world's third-largest economy.
Conservative premier Abe, 63, is facing an unexpected and fierce challenge from the media-savvy Koike, who has upended the sleepy world of Japanese politics with her upstart "Party of Hope."
Addressing hundreds of commuters at a busy Tokyo station via loudspeaker, Koike called on supporters to "end the politics of Abe," lashing out at the long-serving premier over recent scandals that have weighed on his popularity.
"The political status quo has continued while politics itself has lost the public's confidence," charged the former TV anchorwoman, 65.
Abe cut a contrasting figure by kicking off his offensive in the bucolic farming country of Fukushima, signalling his commitment to rebuilding the region hard hit by the 2011 nuclear power plant meltdown.
He pledged a major expansion of social programmes, including offering free early-childhood education in a bid to get more women into work, while also talking tough on North Korea.
In an obvious dig at Koike, he urged voters to consider his policies, rather than catchy soundbites.
"Slogans do not open the way to the future. Policies unlock the future. We must not lose," he said.
The 12-day campaign will be fought around reviving Japan's once world-beating economy and the ever-present threat of North Korea which has threatened to "sink" the country into the sea.
Koike's "Party of Hope" has swallowed up and replaced most of the main opposition party in the space of a week, transforming Japan's staid political landscape.
But surveys suggest her bandwagon is grinding to a halt as she refuses to run herself for PM in the election, focusing on stewarding the world's most populous city with three years until Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games.
A poll in the top-selling Yomiuri daily suggested that 32 percent of voters plan to vote for Abe's conservative LDP with 13 percent for the Party of Hope-down six percentage points from the previous poll in late September.
On the streets of Tokyo, Abe's message that the election is about the coming generations appeared to resonate.
"At my age, what interests me is the future of my children and my grandchildren. We need to prepare a better world for them," said 76-year-old pensioner Sumiko Sakai.
Abe is seeking a fresh term at the helm of the Asian economic powerhouse and key US regional ally and unexpectedly called a snap election to capitalise on a weak and fractured opposition.
But Koike stole his limelight by launching her party, attacking Abe's government for being too slow to reform the country, weighed down by an ageing population, deflation and a huge debt mountain.
Abe's trademark "Abenomics" policy-a vow to kick deflation and achieve two-percent inflation with stable growth-has largely fallen flat.
Critics argue that Abe called the early election to divert attention from a string of scandals, including allegations of favouritism to a friend in a business deal-which the premier strongly denies.
And analysts say the October 22 vote is effectively a referendum on Abe, who has enjoyed unrivalled political strength for the past five years in part because of a lack of credible opposition, while his key policies remained controversial or unpopular.
For her part, Koike says her new group promotes "compassionate conservatism" and hopes to distinguish herself from Abe by pledging a phase-out of nuclear power by 2030 and a freeze on a planned sales tax hike.
Koike sceptics charge that she repeats vague, catchy phrases and lacks details including how to pay for her ambitious projects.
·    Rival conservative blocs -

More than 1,000 candidates were expected to run for 465 seats in the all-powerful lower house-a reduction of 10 seats from the previous election.
The outcome could create two rival conservative blocs with broadly similar diplomatic and defence policies, with fragmented leftist forces filling the gap, pundits say.
Before the campaign kicked off, Abe's ruling bloc held a two-thirds majority, with his long-ruling LDP holding 287 seats while its junior partner Komeito has 35.
Abe has said he would step down if his coalition fails to win a simple majority but few analysts see that as a likely scenario, especially as Koike's party is only putting up 235 candidates.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Mr Xi`s new vision for China


CHINESE President Xi Jinping has laid out a far-reaching vision for a more prosperous nation and a dominating role for China in the world as the US President Donald Trump is working on a reverse way isolating his country from the world leadership role. In the domestic front he has ...

International »

May to urge EU leaders to speed up Brexit talks


AFP, Brussels :British Prime Minister Theresa May will appeal to European Union leaders at a crunch summit in Brussels on Thursday to push forward the deadlocked Brexit negotiations.At a meeting moved to a new venue at the last minute due to an eruption of toxic gas, May will urge her ...

Cricket »

Rangpur Riders recruit Brendon McCullum


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders have recruited wicketkeeper-batsman of New Zealand Brendon McCullum for the up coming fifth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).Chief Executive Officer of Rangpur Riders Ishtiaq Sadek said to the newsmen, " We have confirmed that McCullum will join our squad on November 15. He will play ...

Entertainment »

Titaan Chowdhury hosting `Sampan`


'Sampan' is one of the popular programmes of Chittagong centre of Bangladesh Television of present time. Dance, music, magic, etc are presented in this show. Popular face of the small screen Titaan Chowdhury is hosting this programme. Positive side is Titaan is hailed from Chittagong. So it becomes easier for ...

City »

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia appeared before the Alia Madrasha Special Court in the city's Bakshibazar on Thursday seeking bail on Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust Graft cases.


International »

Threats to start war with North Korea `dangerous, short-sighted`: Hillary


Reuters, Seoul :  Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that "cavalier" threats to start war on the Korean peninsula are "dangerous and short-sighted", urging the United States to get all parties to the negotiating table.Clinton also called on China to take a "more outfront role" in enforcing ...

Sports »

U-12 School Handball Tournament begins tomorrow


Sports Reporter :The Atom Gum Under-12 School Handball (Boys' & Girls') Tournament begins tomorrow at the Shaheed (Captain) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium.Bangladesh Handball Federation will organize the handball meet under auspices of Pran Confectionary Limited.In this regard, a press conference was held at the Dutch-Bangla Bank Auditorium in ...

Editorial »

Diplomacy must work in Korean peninsula


THE Korean peninsula is closer to war again as a North Korean official reaffirmed on Monday Pyongyang's commitment to developing a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching "all the way to the East coast of the mainland US." He said his country is currently not interested in diplomacy with ...

Entertainment »

Only Sunny Leone could dare to wish Diwali in this unique manner


Sultry actress Sunny Leone who has millions of die-hard fans around the world has come up with a new video and that too in her own style. Sunny Leone has posted a new video in which she is wishing a Happy Diwali, especially to the boys. This video is, in ...

City »

Liberation Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haq speaking as Chief Guest at a discussion meeting organised by the BADC Sramik -Karmachari League on the occasion of its 56th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) at its Conference Room yesterday.


Editorial »

Slow down in poverty reduction needs special attention


POVERTY reduction rate in the country is slowing down as calculated from data that to be revealed by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) in few days as per report in a national daily. The yearly average poverty reduction rate was estimated at 1.7 percent from 2005 and 2010 and it ...

International »

US official not ruling out eventual direct talks with N Korea


Reuters, Tokyo :The United States is not ruling out the eventual possibility of direct talks with North Korea, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan said on Tuesday, hours after Pyongyang warned nuclear war might break out at any moment.Talks between the adversaries have long been urged by China in ...

International »

US 'not taking sides' between Iraqi forces, Kurds: Trump


Washington is "not taking sides" following clashes between Iraqi forces and the country's Kurds, US President Donald Trump said Monday, as tensions escalate following the autonomous Kurdish region's independence referendum.Speaking after Iraqi troops and tanks swept across the northern province capturing oil and military targets from the Kurds and seizing ...

Entertainment »

Deepika the new age Dream Girl: Hema Malini


Deepika Padukone recently made time to launch the biography that was being launched on Hema Malini at a suburban hotel. Hema Malini’s birthday was a big affair for the yesteryear actress as well as her fans, as it saw the unveiling of her biography. The Dream Girl of the golden ...

Entertainment »

Gauri Khan plays a hostto Aamir Khan at Gauri Khan Designs


Aamir Khan recently visited close friend Shah Rukh Khan’s wife Gauri Khan’s store in the suburbs of Mumbai. The actor took out time from the promotions of his upcoming film Secret Superstar to visit the newly opened artistic store which provides imaginative and creative designs and decor. Gauri Khan has ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news