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U.S. Embassy closely watching Akita in UH election, concerned about impact on deployment of Aegis Ashore

  • July 13, 2019
  • , Akita Sakigake
  • JMH Translation

The governments of various nations as well as their embassies in Japan are monitoring the Upper House election, anticipating that the results will impact the Abe administration’s policies. South Korea is at loggerheads with Japan over its tightened controls on exports of semiconductor materials, and South Korea sees one aim of the Abe administration’s adoption of a hard-line policy as an appeal to conservatives, who make up Abe’s support base. South Korea anticipates that Japan’s handling of the matter will change if [the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)] wins the election. China is wary that Abe will press forward with amending the Constitution if “pro-amendment forces,” who are amenable to its revision under the Abe administration, take two-thirds of the Upper House seats, the number required for the Diet to propose amendments.


South Korean Embassy sources are concerned that damage to both nations’ economies will be unavoidable if the tightening of restrictions on the export of semiconductor materials continues. They aim for an early resolution through inter-governmental negotiations. If the LDP is able to achieve the goal of winning the election by gaining the support of the conservatives, they anticipate that “the administration will have the space to take a cool-headed response to South Korea.”


People connected with the Chinese government are anxious about how the debate on constitutional amendment will proceed after the election. They think that “if those amenable to constitutional amendment secure more than two-thirds of the seats, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will pursue in earnest his long-cherished hope of revising the Constitution” because the end of his term as LDP president is coming up. They apparently are watching “post-Abe” movements within the LDP.


People connected with the U.S. Embassy have their eyes on Akita Prefecture, where the Defense Ministry aims to deploy the “Aegis Ashore” land-based missile defense system. Saying the deployment of Aegis Ashore could impact U.S. missile defense, they said, “If an opposition party candidate is elected on an anti-Aegis Ashore platform in the Akita constituency, it could mean a delay in deployment.”


Russian Embassy sources said, “It would be good if the Abe administration attracted more support” in light of the Prime Minister’s policy to strengthen the bilateral relationship toward the resolution of the Northern Territories issue.

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