I’m intrigued by Japan’s “pivot” on cultural issues–strengthening women positions and allowing for diversification goes against what Japan’s society has protected. I’m interested to see how this plays out in the next election… or how long Abe will be allowed to stay in office.
On 3 Sep, Abe held a meeting with his cabinet members. He had replaced six of his 18 cabinet members, and five of these were women:
Midori MATSUSHIMA (松島みどり氏)
Sanae TAKAICHI (高市早苗氏)
Yuko OBUCHI (小渕優子氏)
Eriko YAMATANI (山谷えり子氏)
Haruko ARIMURA (有村治子氏)
This meeting was where he displayed his new policies:
1) Tohoku Rebuilding
While rebuilding has constantly taken place since the 3/11 Earthquake/Tsunami, there are still places left devastated by the tsunamis. It makes sense this should be at the forefront for his national priorities.
As seen through his successful Abenomics policies, he is continuing the trend to bring Japan out of its economic rut that has existed since the popping of the Japanese economic bubble.
3) Rural economies
Also after 3/11, the rural sector has become stronger in its resistance to Tokyo’s national policies. To protect onsens and ecosystems, the rural areas are more resistance to wind generators and solar panels. This could be Abe’s way of attempting to appease those who feel slighted by being forced to do what Tokyo hands down as decided issues.
4) Empowering Women
Women, Peace, and Security (WPS)is a priority even in the United States–see the US National Action Plan on WPS (Dec 2011). Giant corporate businesses have shown that the more diverse of a work force you have, the more successful the business becomes (the more money it makes). Abe is attempting to create a face for this at well within Japan, even if it might anger (male) allies who believed it was their turn for the job.
5) Diversification through Education
Possibly due to Japan’s population decrease and the need for increase foreign workers, Abe seems to be pushing for an acceptance of diversity through the school systems. This would also seem to encourage that upper-class and lower-class people should be respected members of society as well.
6) Social Infrastructure
3/11 has also required internal security policies change, especially against natural disasters. Abe is hoping to build infrastructure to prevent and mitigate future disasters to create a “sense of security” for the population.
7) Diplomacy/National Security
With China and North Korea still being aggressors in the region, Japan acknowledges the requirement for external security to be strengthened; however, they need to balance diplomacy requirements to ensure peace and world order are maintained in the region.