Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been re-elected as the President of the ruling Liberal Democratic (LDP) in the recently held presidential election by defeating his challenger Shigeru Ishiba, a former Secretary General of the party.By winning re-election for Party’s presidency for a three year term, Abe has cemented his position within the party and will continue to assume Prime Minister’s office till September 2021 which coincides with the term of his presidency. Various lessons could be learnt from the result of the LDP’s Presidential election. Most important among them is that the hawkish factions of the LDP have cemented their position within the LDP leadership. In the past, leadership rotated between the so called dovish and hawkish factions. The hawkish factions have been more aggressive on changing the pacifist Constitution and giving more power to Japanese defense forces, a move which has been opposed and resisted by Japan’s immediate neighbours as well as pacifist constituency within the country. During the Presidential election campaign, Shinzo Abe has unveiled his agenda to revise the Constitution to give legal status to its Defense Force. Other agenda include achieving two percent inflation to make economy more vibrant, providing free education to students up to university level and a hike in consumption tax from 8 to 10 per cent. Against this context, the speaker will analyse the LDP’s election process, key issues highlighted by the candidates and Abe’s agenda for Japan during his last and final term in the office as well as challenges he faces to implement these agenda.
About the Speaker
Shamshad Ahmad Khan is Visiting Associate Fellow at the ICS. He is also a Guest Faculty at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi. After completing his PhD in 2009 from the Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International Relations, JNU, he has spent time as faculty as well as researcher both in Indian and Japanese academia. In India, he had been associated with think tanks such as Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (June 2009- September 2013) and Indian Council of World Affairs (October 2013 to September 2015). In Japan, he had been associated with Keio University (October 2015-Augut 2016), Japan Institute of International Relations (November 2014 to January 2015), Institute for Developing Economies (November 2012-February 2013), Slavic Research Centre, Hokkaido University (December–March 2011) and Waseda University (April 2007 to March 2008) in different capacities. Until recently, he was Assistant Professor (Visiting) at the Department of International Relations at Sharjah University, UAE. He is also a recipient of Nakasone Yasuhiro Award.
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