ASSESSMENTS

Japan's Prime Minister Is Saving His Most Ambitious Plans for Last

MIN READJun 15, 2019 | 09:30 GMT

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) introduces the candidates for the country's upcoming legislative election at an annual convention in Tokyo on Feb. 10, 2019.

(Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

Japan will hold elections for the upper house of the country's legislature, the National Diet, this summer, likely in July. Without a formidable opponent and only half of the seats in play, there is little risk of a major upset for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). But a particularly strong showing at the polls would give Abe the freedom to finally proceed with some of his longstanding wishes before the end of his third term, which include constitutional reforms, raising the consumption tax and tamping down U.S. trade pressure. But regardless of the election outcome, Abe will find that Tokyo's close alliance with the United States will continue to hinder his government's diplomatic outreach to China, Russia and North Korea. ...

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