VOX POPULI: Kishida’s snap elections call for ‘sneak attack’ to attract voters



Keeping a calendar of top hot topics up to date is an integral part of a daily columnist’s job.

For the immediate future, topics include the first shot of the Pacific saury ‘sanma’ season, this year’s peak.s fall foliage and the announcement of the Nobel Prizes.

Reading the calendar incorrectly will inevitably result in being caught off guard and having to write a track in a mad rush.

I was taken by surprise by the political calendar just revealed which places the dissolution of the lower house on October 14, the start of the electoral campaign on October 19 and election day on October 31.

Embarrassingly, the calendar I had written in my diary was completely wrong: “The campaign starts on October 26, election day on November 7. “

The incredible rush to dissolve the Lower House just 10 days after the Prime Minister is replaced, followed by elections 17 days later, makes my head spin.

The approval rating of the Liberal Democratic Party increased in the immediate wake of the presidential election.

New Prime Minister Fumio Kishida must have thought the timing could not have been better to call the lower house elections.

And by not giving the opposition parties enough time to join forces, he must have thought that the PLD should do well, especially now that there appears to be a lull in the COVID-19 situation.

In his new cabinet formed on October 4, 13 of the 20 ministers are novices.

Kishida prided himself on creating a good balance between the older and younger generations. But with the election campaign kicking off before Cabinet is fully established, the public will not have time to know and judge the policies and capabilities of the new members.

The Zhuangzi, an ancient Chinese text from the late Warring States period (476-221 BC), notes that the sages do not miss their timing.

On the other hand, there is an East African adage that says, “Rushing receives no blessing.

All over the world and throughout history there have been many instances where people misinterpreted the situation and paid dearly for it.

The abrupt advance of the lower house’s electoral calendar looked like a sneak attack. Will the result be good or bad?

We, the voters, must refuse to be affected by these sudden developments, remain calm and observe carefully.

–L’Asahi Shimbun, October 5

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Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that covers a wide range of topics including culture, the arts, and social trends and developments. Written by veteran writers of Asahi Shimbun, the column offers useful perspectives and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.



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