When reading the paper or listening to the news in English, some of us may be inclined to think that “Abenomics” has something to do with economics or even sound economics. But when you listen to members of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party talk about it in Japanese, they call it “Abe no mikkusu,” de-stressing the “no.” So, what they are actually saying is Abe’s “mix.”
Which leads me to think that they never had faith in his vision from the outset — that they saw it more as a hotchpotch of shallow and loosely connected sound bites without any special meaning that were made to seem like something great was being done for the public. (Or perhaps the lawmakers know English enough to insinuate that Abe is just “mixed up.”)
The “third arrow” (to promote grow and boost incomes) in his approach fell like a damp squib and exposed his “policies” for what they are — a bag of novelty tricks, mirrors and smoke to make the electorate think that he is actually interested in economics.
Apart from big business and nuclear power companies, the only people benefiting are the perennial speculator types who caused the Lehman collapse. They are making billions by manipulating the stock market by the second. Currency fluctuations — the yen dropping in value by 30 percent after having stagnated for years — are just icing on their cake. Someone is making a killing and it certainly isn’t the likes of the ordinary man or woman trudging down Tokyo’s congested streets to work every morning.
Abe’s economic policy consists merely of visions (or delusions) of where he might want to go. There are no road maps. His mind doesn’t seem to be on economics at all. His track record, and that of the LDP over the past five decades, is a testament to financial irresponsibility and incompetence, with Japan embarrassingly the most debt-ridden developed nation in the world.
His mind is on deconstructing the Constitution and reforming it in his own image. He is just hoping to ride the flash-in-Japan popularity of opinion polls until the summer elections so that he can maneuver himself into a position to revise the current Constitution and impose his own will on the public.
It’s only been a few months since Abenomics began and already the pretense is wearing thin. With regard to constitutional revision, some of his current and future potential political allies, such as Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, seem to keep on making more outrageous statements about things that lawmakers should know better.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.