Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a general election for the lower house of Japan's parliament on December 14, following the decision to postpone a consumption tax hike that was originally scheduled for October 1, 2015, as the economic condition continued to deteriorate following an earlier consumption tax hike. The opposition declared a failure of Abenomics (the comprehensive economic policy package aimed to fight deflation and restore growth in Japan's economy). The Abe administration countered this claim by declaring Abenomics is on the right track and "the only way" forward for the future of Japan. The result was a victory for the Abe administration. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the coalition partner Komeito retained the two-thirds majority of the Lower House. In his commentary to Project Syndicate, Abe declared “With the powerful mandate of the Japanese people, demonstrated by their overwhelming vote of support in our country’s December 14 election, my government’s ability to act decisively has been strengthened immeasurably. Indeed, we now not only have the authority to act, but a clear and definitive message from the electorate that we must do so.” Experts in the Japan Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center will discuss the Japan's economic and foreign policies after the election.
Takeo Hoshi - Henri H. and Tomoye Takahashi Senior Fellow in Japanese Studies at FSI; Professor, by courtesy, of Finance, Graduate School of Business and Director, Japan Program, Shorenstein APARC at Stanford University
Phillip Lipscy - The Thomas Rohlen Center Fellow, Japan Program, Shorenstein APARC and Assistant Professor of Political Science, Stanford University
Yukio Okamoto - Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow, MIT and former Special Advisor to two Prime Ministers of Japan
Ryo Sahashi - Visiting Associate Professor, Shorenstein APARC at Stanford University and Associate Professor of International Politics, Faculty of Law at Kanagawa University