My own (possibly misguided) take on it: Hard to say definitively that any one single issue might be the main reason for this big loss, since there was quite a confluence of issues that had brought public confidence in the Abe administration down to under 30%, BU-U-U-UTTTT . . .ÂÂ this monrning's Asahi Shimbun had a graphic analysis that pointed to the incredible social security SNAFU (about 50 million records either missing, mixed-up, or unidentifiable) as being a biggie: over about 55% of those who said it was an important factor for them ended up voting DSJ.ÂÂ ÂÂ
The facts of Abe being a hard-line conservative, a couple of highly publicized corruption cases (the Agricultural Minister's suicide over expense-padding allegations followed immediately by his successor's own financial scandal) and PR gaffes (the Health Minister referring to women as baby-making machines and the Defense Minister, who is also a Representative from Nagasaki, declaring that the atomic bombings were understandable -- a TOTALLY taboo thing to say in Nagasaki), several highly controversial policies, including patriotism-building education reforms, the movement to amend the Constitution to remove the Article 9 renunciation of war, friction with China and both Koreas -- none of these seemed to be as important as the bread-and-butter retirement pension problem.ÂÂ Abe's promises to fix it didn't seem to get him much support.
Jim Swan's "None-Too-Great Hits" now on iTunes.ÂÂ Featuring the title song from his novel, "Dawn in Honolulu