- Prince Charles: Muslims are driving Christians from Mideast through persecution
- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
Japan to reshuffle cabinet
Stepping down in the face of a heavy election defeat is not unprecedented.
In 1998, then-Prime Minster Ryutaro Hashimoto was forced to quit after the Liberal Democratic Party won just 44 seats out of 121. Sousuke Uno lost his job as prime minister after winning only 36 seats in 1989. Abe himself resigned as secretary-general of the party in 2004, when the Liberal Democrats won 49 seats, two short of their goal.
Some senior LDP lawmakers were taking a wait-and-see approach in the aftermath. Ruling party veteran Koichi Kato described Abe’s choice to stay as hasty. “I’m not sure if it was the right decision,” Kato said.
Abe painted his continuation as a matter of making good on previous pledges to push through reforms. He said economic revival and constitutional reform will top the agenda as his party moves forward.
“I’m ready for a rocky road, but we cannot go on without pursuing the reform track, and that requires commitment and plans,” Abe said. “I’ve already promised reforms that must be put into action. I’ve kept my promises and I will continue to do so.”
Sunday’s defeat, however, will make it more difficult for the LDP to pass bills that are contested, with the upper house expected to have a president from the Democratic Party of Japan whose members would also dominate key posts in house committees.
Abe, 52, promised to build a “beautiful Japan” when he became the nation’s youngest-ever prime minister in September, and he won points for mending strained diplomatic ties with South Korea and China.
But his honeymoon was short-lived.
In the first of a series of scandals, Administrative Reform Minister Genichiro Sata stepped down in December over charges of misusing of political funds. In May, Abe’s agriculture minister killed himself amid allegations he also misused public money. The new agriculture minister became embroiled in another funds scandal.
Perhaps most infuriating for voters, Abe brushed off warnings by the opposition late last year that pension records had been lost. That inaction came back to haunt him in the spring, when the full scope of the records losses emerged. Some 50 million claims had been wiped out.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- HURT: D.C. gets the vapors, calls sequester too much
- Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes for Sochi delegation
- Colorado revolt: 55 of 62 sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws
- Senators in rush to pass budget vow to undo cut to military retirement pay
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow