July 19, 2013

Is Abe ready for Japanese expectations?

By Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center

Special to CNN

Japanese voters head to the polls on Sunday to elect half of the members of the House of Councillors, the upper house of Japan’s Diet, the national legislature. The ballot is shaping up as a referendum on the seven-month tenure of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.

Abe is riding high in the polls, and pre-election public opinion surveys show the ruling Liberal Democratic Party prevailing in the upper house vote. Victory will enable the prime minister to pursue his domestic economic reform agenda, dubbed Abenomics, which entails monetary and fiscal stimulus and regulatory reform to improve Japan’s competitiveness.

But an LDP victory would also bring high expectations. After more than two decades of economic turmoil and political transition in Japan, the public’s mood is on the upswing.

Read more at CNN’s Global Public Square blog