With the July 21 Upper House elections handing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a solid majority in both chambers of Parliament, the ruling coalition has a serious opportunity to implement Abe’s ambitious economic reform initiatives. Though there are many politically unpopular obstacles standing in the way of such reform, this victory is an endorsement of the Liberal Democratic Party’s “Abenomics” agenda and represents one of the first major shifts in Japanese politics since 2007. For ongoing coverage and analysis on Japanese domestic politics, keep updated by AEI’s foreign and defense policy scholars.
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Yesterday in Tokyo, Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Defense Hagel met with their Japanese counterparts in the annual "2+2″ meeting. Long overshadowed by the Sino-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the 2+2 is actually a more important meeting.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is attempting an aggressive reform program in order to revitalize the Japanese economy. Can he succeed? We believe he can, but only if he aims his "third arrow" of structural reform at the right target.
Mr. Abe's "Three Arrows" program consists of renewed fiscal stimulus, aggressive monetary easing and significant structural reform. We believe he will succeed—if he aims his "third arrow," structural reform, at Japan's capital allocation and corporate governance practices.