Monday, December 17, 2012

Japan hawkish political heir Shinzo ABE

- Nationalist Shinzo Abe is to become Japan's prime minister and history suddenly reappears after Sunday's election of his LDP party at the Parliament. He resigned as prime minister for health reasons in 2007, at that time Japan did not have access to various medicines because of the stubbornness of the bureaucracy and the pharmaceuticals lobby. His party, the LDP, had also entered into a succession of endless corruptions and scandals. After 3 years of the DPJ experience led by Hatoyama, Kan and Noda, Shinzo ABE is back to power and he said he changed. But the question is: has the nature of those who made him triumph as the front of the LDP fundamentally changed? Who are they and where do these people come from?

Shinzo ABE belongs to the conservative nationalist origins of Japan politics. He is the son of Shintaro ABE. Shinzo ABE also is the grandson-in-law of Prime Minister Nobusuke KISHI. Kishi was a prime minister of Japan in the late 50's nicknamed "Showa era ghost-monster", a "Class A" war crimes suspect declared by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers after 1945. His biological younger brother, was Eisaku Sato who would also become a prime minister. Anti-communist, rich, released in 1948 from Sugamo jail, Kishi became a prime minister in the late 50's who supported US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty at a time of massive anti-American students demonstrations. Kishi is credited as being a key player in the initiation of the "1955 System", the extended period during which a single political party, the LDP, remained the dominant party in Japanese politics. The LDP system ruled since the end of world war II in spite of the Morihiro HOSOKAWA 1993-1994 first non-LDP government since 1955, he was the eldest son of marquis Morisada Hosokawa clan, and after the 2009 Democratic party of Japan 3 years in power.

- "In this undated file photo released by Shinzo Abe Office, Shinzo Abe, front row third from right, sits on the lap of his grandfather and then Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi while his father, Shintaro Abe, front row right, and his mother, Yoko, back row right, and his elder brother, Nobuhiro, front row left, pose for a family photo at unknown place. This photo was taken when Shinzo was attending a kindergaten. The Liberal Democratic Party’s victory in Japan’s parliamentary election Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012 virtually ensures that the LDP leader Shinzo Abe, who resigned as prime minister for health reasons in 2007 after just a year in office, will get a second chance to try to lead Japan out of its economic slump." (

- Today Japan is at a crossroad and as BBC said, will Mr ABE have the desire, the will and the capability to rebuild Japan's economy and re build the relations with China? Time will say. Next nation election: July 2013 (Upper House, Senate)

December 16th 2012 general election, the results: An "overwhelming victory in Japan's general election Sunday, setting the stage for Shinzo Abe to resume the premiership and pursue stronger defence and conservative nuclear energy policies." (Kyodo news) and a severe defeat for the DPJ 21 months in the first major vote after the triple catastrophe of 3/11 and the impossibility to put their Manifesto into practice by 3 Democrat prime ministers Hatoyama, Kan, and Noda. The next prime minister will be Shinzo Abe as leader of the winning party, aided by the Buddhist party Komeito  which is the arm of a controversial Buddhist sect Soka Gakkai. He wants to change the Constitution and rearm Japan, to keep intact the nuclear industry for its military option. The day after the vote, 47% who abstained or didn't vote for LDP, wonder about Japan's future in the hands of a hawkish leader encouraged by Japan's ally, the US whose "hands" have encouraged the LDP one party domination for the last 60 years.

This is where the people are today, disappointed but not surprised, in a Japan massively convinced of the corruption nature of Japanese politics and commerce practises, unconcerned by politics, sure of a short-time musical chairs policy due to the selfishness of the rulers and inability to break the ceiling of Japan's money politics. The youth especially do not commit to any ideology except to the materialism satisfaction provided by years of consumerism inflicted by an export tuned industrial machine.

The last political motivation of Japanese society came after the 3/11 tsunami and nuclear accident of Fukushima. Japanese people seemed to have given into a political awakening. I am curious to see how these tens of millions of Japanese are going to view the return of the LDP "in business." 2015 will be the year when the consumption tax will double to 10% and imposed on Japan households, it was a main issue in the campaign, it could be the beginning of a nightmare for Mr Abe's friends.

For the rest of Abe's friends, those dangerous patriot-nationalists, heirs of war criminals and proud of it, with a dream to see Japan plays a role as a powerful nation, as Japan did in colonial time and war time since 1910, becoming a weapons exporting machine, unmoved by claims of neighbouring nations, those who privilege a nationalistic, discriminative and warmonger character in the name of a distorted review of history and art of the Bushido, those whose ambiguity remains in their fascination for the Nazi Germany and the Fascist Italy of Mussolini, those who supported Abe's victory for months, especially when he visited the Yasukuni shrine a few months ago August 15th and 17th October, and hope to see him review the article 9 of the Constitution, based on acute denial, emotion and ignorance of their own history, for these people today is a "VD".

Abe is the heir of a hermetic system which can produce the worst in politics, as history demonstrated. These people are a limited number in Japan for the benefit of the rest of the world. Japan remains a democratic nation as long as the fundamentals are respected. With the return of a minor league in charge, the social laws, the working laws, the freedom of thought, the benevolence towards the weak,  and the access to information are to be tested. The Senkaku Diaoyu and Takeshima Dokdo territorial disputes and the North Korean nuclear threats, the post Fukushima, the TPP and Europe Japan free trade agreements will be diplomatic tests to Mr Abe's administration. Can he deliver, this time?

Results of the December 16th 2012 Parliament election.

Participation Kyodo News estimated turnout at 59.7 percent, down about 10 percentage points from the last lower house election in 2009.

LDP: 294
Komeito: 31
DPJ: 57
Japan Restauration (Ishihara-Hashimoto) : 54
Your Party: 18
Kada: 9
JCP: 8
SPJ: 2
Muneo Suzuki: 1
Ozawa Ichiro: 1
Independents: 5

Exchange rate and Nikkei on Monday :
Dec. 17, 2012 
Dollar-Yen: 84.03-84.11 (10:57)
Euro-Yen : 110.57-110.65 (10:57)
Nikkei 225:  9883.39 145.83 (10:39)
Topix:  808.88 7.84 (10:40)


Sunday, December 16, 2012

 Chine et Japon, ombres ou lumières?

Arrivé très jeune journaliste dans la Chine de l'ouverture de Deng Xiaoping et Hu Yaobang, j'ai eu la chance de réaliser de nombreux reportages depuis Pékin, je voyageais beaucoup en Chine, j'y ai vraiment pris goût depuis, visiteur de toute l'Asie. Je racontais cette Chine que je voyais et qui se réveillait, j'en parlais invité du matin chez Philippe Caloni sur France-Inter, sur France Culture ou Rfi.

On parlait alors de la Chine en chantier, de décollage économique, des premiers désirs de démocratie, on en voit le résultat aujourd'hui. Chine 2eme puissance économique mondiale, la première puissance mondiale en 2050 et pas de grande évolution démocratique? Si, quand même, on y fait ce qu'on veut en Chine aujourd'hui, sauf de la politique, à  moins d'être au PCC ou dans l'un des 7 ou 8 micro partis qui prétendent exister et incarner le libre accès à la vie politique.

J'ai vu les premiers frémissements étudiants qui menèrent peu après à Tian'anmen en Juin 1989 depuis mon balcon Pékinois proche de (北大) Beida, et j'y ai entendu, durant les soirées glaciales du nord de la Chine, ces premiers appels à la démocratie, à la vie comme en Occident, à l'enrichissement, au "fun," lancés depuis l'université de Pékin, souvent des frustrations d'étudiants chinois et étrangers bientôt épaulés par d'autres forces... J'ai vu et entendu beaucoup. J'ai eu accès aux documents du Parti, comment? Disons, le jeu des factions. J'ai fait des rencontres et y ai découvert des trésors que je n'ai pas fini d'évoquer le jour venu. Il faut vérifier en effet.

On ne parlait plus alors de la Chine de la Révolution Culturelle, mais entre deux verres d'eau chaude, on me parlait en détail des acteurs de l'époque comme par exemple de ces 2 femmes célèbres, les chinoises Jiang Qing, le chien de Mao, et l'écrivain Han Suyin, de son vrai nom Chow Kuanghu-Zhōu Guānghú, née de père chinois et mère Belge.

Aussi ai-je bien aimé cette émission d'hier "Concordance des Temps" de Mao à Xi Jinping, à propos de la Chine de Mao, sur France Culture, animée par l'ex PDG de Radio France qui m'encouragea alors dans mon aventure chinoise, Jean-Noël Jeanneney. Dans cette émission avec Domenach (lui et François Godement que j'ai connu en Chine) sont décidément les deux carrefours obligés, aux missions messianiques, des médias francais sur la Chine tant il est vrai qu'ils savent comment constituer leurs fonds durant leurs recherches.

Dans cette émission, on y entend l'inoubliable Han Suyin disparue en novembre 2012. Elle a écrit des livres magnifiques sur la Chine et parle ici de Jiang Qing, de "Madame Mao": "Elle est très dangereuse parce qu'elle est bête, elle n'avait pas la grandeur d'âme qu'il fallait."  A la 39e minute.

Je cite un autre lien intéressant, plus ancien, l'interview télévision de Han Suyin par Georges Suffert ( Han Suyin parle de la période de 1966 à 1979 dans le cinquième et dernier volet de son autobiographie: "La moisson du phénix" et de sa première rencontre en septembre 1969 avec la femme du grand timonier. En langue française.

Je ne peux m'empêcher de jeter un regard en arrière, alors que Chine et Japon, tant aimées l'une et l'autre par la France et l'Europe, n'en finissent plus en cet hiver 2012 2013 de frapper les esprits ardents, ambitieux, durs, et sont prêts à faire face aux agressions voulues par d'autres. Depuis Tokyo, en ce dimanche 16 décembre 2012, jour d'élection au Parlement, un certain héritier, Shinzo Abe, pâle figure de l'histoire contemporaine, s'apprête à enfiler un costume bien trop grand pour lui. Xi Jinping, au père victime de Mao et de ses factions, avec ses fils et filles de Princes de la Chine, n'en feront qu'une bouchée!