The Business Times

Tokyo polls to test Japan's rapid swing to the right

Published Thu, Feb 6, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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SUNDAY'S poll to elect a new governor of Tokyo is turning into a major political power play involving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as well as two former prime ministers as forces mobilise for or against what is seen as the Japanese government's accelerating swing towards the right.

Two issues nominally dominating the election campaign are the future of nuclear power in Japan and the Olympic Games which Tokyo is due to host in 2020. But a key "hidden" factor, some say, is whether a credible political opposition can be established to counter Japan's new direction.

This would create a much bigger threat to the government of Mr Abe than the embarrassment he would suffer if Tokyo voters elect a governor who is opposed to nuclear power in Japan and to the "extravagant" Olympic Games, both of which Mr Abe is pushing, analysts say.

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