Saturday, December 27, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Japanese give new prime minister a mandate

Web_OurView_YourView

In the 1970s and 1980s America worried about “Japan Inc.,” an economic colossus that bid to outstrip the U.S. in innovation and manufacturing. But in a lesson that this country has doggedly refused to learn, no economic trend lasts forever.

Japan’s economy ran out of steam, and its long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party ran out of ideas. What token gestures there were toward economic reform were blocked by powerful, protectionist-minded banking, industrial and agricultural interests.

Since the 1970s, Japan has been ruled by a seemingly interchangeable cast of 24 prime ministers – only one of them memorable, Junichiro Koizumi, and he only because of his Elvis haircut – none of them re-elected until Sunday when Japanese voters gave Shinzo Abe a rare second chance.

He was prime minister for 12 months in 2006 and 2007; he resigned over health issues, cabinet scandals and almost certain defeat at the polls.

Abe’s party won control of both houses of parliament, giving his government, in the words of The Associated Press, “the potential to be one of Japan’s most influential and effective administrations in years.”

Heavens knows, Japan could use one.

There are long-term problems Abe can probably do little about – an aging population and a declining birthrate. For cultural reasons, the easiest and most effective solution to that problem – immigration – is out of the question for the foreseeable future.

But joining the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc, which would require Japan to scrap its long-held protectionism, also would give its industries and businesses, made complacent by the good years of the ’60s and ’70s, a badly needed shakeup.

He must negotiate a needed sales tax increase of 5 to 8 percent without jeopardizing a still-fragile economic recovery and an annualized GDP growth of 4.1 percent.

More problematic is Abe’s plan to redraft the pacifist constitution, written by the U.S. post-World War II, to allow for a more robust military with real offensive capability. This alarms the Chinese no end, but it’s their own fault for almost belligerently claiming hundreds of islands in the South China Sea whose ownership is claimed by several nations, including Japan.

However, his views track closely with U.S. foreign policy. (He wants us to keep the 50,000 U.S. troops stationed there.) Second chances are rare in Japanese politics. We should help him make the most of his.

Scripps Howard News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Suisun Valley celebrates appellation’s anniversary

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Girl’s selfless act boosts Suisun Wildlife Center

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Car rolls over on Highway 113

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Beer for 1st butterfly of year challenge returns

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fire damages Fairfield home

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Dec. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
 
.

US / World

California braces for first widespread frost

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California gears up for migrant driver’s licenses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 7 Comments

 
4 dead in fiery Northern California car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Police officer shoots woman in leg in Hollywood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
Inmate breaks out of jail through ventilation duct

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

People slide down bedsheets to escape motel fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Court: LA Police Department policy for impounding cars is OK

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Scientists target mess from Christmas tree needles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Baby ostracized by other gorillas will switch zoos

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Thousands attend 8-hour wake for slain NYC officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Study: Marijuana use has increased in Colorado

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Dog not gone: Rescue in the Columbia Gorge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Bodies of woman, 3 grandsons found in burned home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Truck crashes into home; 93-year-old resident dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Lawmakers promise to help strapped oil-patch towns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Feline fame in cyberspace gives species a boost

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Can GOP shatter ‘Obama coalition’ in 2016?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

GPS used to track some immigrants caught at border

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

 
At 101, dedicated union rep is calling it quits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

10th anniversary of tsunami is marked with tears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

A proud man, a good honorable man

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 40 Comments

 
Sony hack is reminder of broader Sony dysfunction

By William Pesek | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Remember, caregivers need some care attention, too

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

Cow that fled slaughterhouse in 2006 has new home, again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Jazz great Buddy DeFranco dies at age 91

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
1990s TV star ‘Screech’ charged in bar stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

.

Sports

 
Suns outlast Kings 115-106 for 5th straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Anthony Davis, Roman meet over tweet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Cleveland reaches 50 years of sports futility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Games to Remember from 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Chiefs QB Alex Smith out with lacerated spleen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Globetrotters’ Robert ‘Showboat’ Hall dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NC State wins Bitcoin Bowl to cap turnaround year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rutgers beats North Carolina in Quick Lane Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
La. Tech beats Illinois 35-18 in Heart of Dallas Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Arizona’s Lindley back at starter, Stanton has infection

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prep JV boys basketball: Vanden gets win in Dixon tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Could Watt be 1st NFL MVP from defense since Taylor in 1986?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dan Uggla joins Nationals for minor league deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Georgia’s Richt: RB Todd Gurley heading to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Slumping New Jersey Devils fire coach Pete DeBoer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

No. 1 Kentucky, No. 4 Louisville resume rivalry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders rookie CB makes most of opportunity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

High-scoring offenses create longer college games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Anderson: post-game petulance was out of character

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

This date in sports history for Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Weather for Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

In 2014, US economy began shaky, finished strong

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Holiday deliveries improve but hiccups continue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Missouri 1st to see average gas price below $2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

.

Home Seller 12/27/14

Real estate transactions for Dec. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Average US 30-year mortgage edges up slightly

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2