Japan after Abe

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Yoshihide Suga at his first press conference after being elected Prime Minister of Japan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In September, Japan got its first new Prime Minister in nearly 8 years, Suga Yoshihide, who took over from Abe Shinzo after serving as his Chief Cabinet Secretary for as many years. In this Asianet: focus seminar, our panellists Paul Midford (NTNU), Benedicte Irgens (UiB), and Dick Stegewerns (UiO) analyse where Japan is headed after Abe.

To what extent does Suga represent change versus continuity with Abe? Will Suga be able to build on Abe's personal relationship with Donald Trump, or build a new relationship with the US under a Biden administration? Will he continue to pursue constitutional revision, especially of the war-renouncing Article 9?  Will Suganomics be a mere continuation of Abenomics, or something different? Will Suga continue to maintain nuclear power as an important base-load source of power or capitalize on the rapid growth of renewable energy in Japan? Whither Abe's touted “Womanomics” under Suga when only two of his 21 ministers are women and almost the entire senior leadership of his Liberal Democratic Party are men? Why has it been so difficult for the opposition to unite and gain traction, and is there any prospect of voting rates in Japan returning to their 2009 high?

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About the panel


Paul Midford is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Japan Program at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).




Benedicte Mosby Irgens is Teaching Professor of Japanese Linguistics at the Department of Foreign Languages, University of Bergen




Dick Stegewerns is Associate Professor of Japan studies at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo.

Published Oct. 19, 2020 9:54 AM - Last modified Nov. 11, 2020 11:41 AM