Great news, fellow world watchers! The Liberal Democratic Party just won a big election sweep in Japan! Go LDP, go! And why, you might ask, would WOOF be enthusiastic about the Liberal Democrats winning 300 parliamentary and 480 lower-house seats while their kindred spirits in the New Komeito party picked up 30 seats? What’s good about that, you ask? Simple! (And yet, strangely complex!) In Japan the Liberal Democratic Party is the Conservative party! Ah so! The party of hawks and tax cutters—say, no wonder they call the Japanese inscrutable, huh?
And notwithstanding the “recent unpleasantness” (you know, Pearl Harbor, Bataan, and all that other history you wouldhave to go to an American public school not to know anything about) we are big fans of karate and sushi, and those great Akira Kurasowa movies that gave us the plot lines for all our classic westerns—and we really do wish the Japanese people well. Thus we really hope this deadlock-busting conservative victory of about 20 hours ago helps unleash the world’s third biggest economy so we can get some toys at McDonalds that are made in Japan instead of Red China! Of course, just to make matters even more inscrutable than ever, the new government of Shinzo Abe was also the former government of Shinzo Abe, but Abe got sick and quit, and was replaced by a (liberal) Liberal named Noda who came to power in 2009 promising to pay more attention to consumers than corporations (obvious commie talk) and proceeded to reduce the economy to rubble while also allowing a tidal wave to hit Northern Japan in 2011. In brief, things were so utterly underwater that the ruling leftist Democratic Party (not the good Liberal Democratic Party, which is good, but the bad Democratic Party, which is bad) suffered a humiliating defeat yesterday, which is good. So complete was the liberal Liberal party’s discomfiture that the disgraced Noda resigned on the spot, telling reporters that, “We failed to meet the people’s hopes after three and a half years.” No word yet as to whether Noda or any of his fellow disenfranchised Leftists have done anything –you know—honorable.
Economics appear to have played a major role in the election, as many experts believe disenchanted voters put Abe back in power partly because of his promise to ease monetary policy and increase fiscal spending which would be really, really bad, except that it could be temporarily good because the yen slumped to its lowest over the last 18 months against the U.S. dollar on the news of Abe’s election triumph, which would be really bad, except you have to bear in mind that it’s actually good, because the economic difficulties Japan faces are mainly associated with a strong yen and the perils of deflation, so a weakened yen, which would be good, is what the Abe government is striving to achieve.
Combined with his yen for more yen adding up to fewer dollars, Abe is considering the forthcoming 2014 hikes in sales taxes, which are bad, except that Abe is talking about postponing them, which is good. Also of note is the new government’s pledge to take steps to stand up to military provocations coming from Red China (whose MiGs tend to “stray” into Japanese air space) and Communist North Korea (they being proclived to shoot missiles at Japan for sport, although so far none of them have carried warheads). A major regional news agency has emphasized that, “It is a troubling sign that some [elements of the new Abe government] have pledged to take a tough stance on territorialdisputes and boost military spending to woo rightist voters.” The source went on to say that this would increase tensions “with neighbors in the region” and increase nationalism, which the source denounced as very very bad, except that the source of these views is Xinhuanet, the Chinese Communist news agency, considered by many experts to be even more radical than Reuters and the AP. So it doesn’t take an Edward Teller to figure out that whatever Xinhuanet thinks is bad is good—like standing up to the commies over the hotly disputed Senkaku cluster of islands in the East China Sea which WOOF has learned are uninhabited, but the Chinese want them so WOOF firmly believes that the Japanese should hang onto them. Speaking at his first news conference, Abe reaffirmed Tokyo’s historic claim of sovereignty over the island group, saying, “China is challenging the fact that [the islands] are Japan’s inherent territory…our objective is to stop the challenge.” And in case you don’t think that’s good, dear readers, consider this: The subversive New York Times opined only hours ago that, “the dominant view [meaning the New York Time’s view] of Sunday’s vote was that it was not so much a weakening of Japan’s desire for drastic change, or a swing to an anti-Chinese right, as a rebuke of the incumbent….” So we can clearly rest assured that what we have here is weakening of Japan’s desire for “change” (which is what the Times often calls radical Liberalism) combined with a swing to the anti-Chinese right! And to that, WOOF says, banzai!