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Strategies to Reconstruct LDP Predominance under Abe’s Stewardship: Historical Progress and Sustainability

  • Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Abbr : JAPS
  • 2018, 25(3), pp.49-77
  • DOI : 10.18107/japs.2018.25.3.002
  • Publisher : Institute of Global Affairs
  • Research Area : Social Science > Social Science in general
  • Received : August 15, 2018
  • Accepted : September 13, 2018
  • Published : September 30, 2018

Park, Cheol Hee 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) experienced confusion and hardship between 1993 and 2012, but since 2012, when Prime Minister Abe resumed power, LDP successfully reconstructed predominance. LDP won landslide electoral victories in five consecutive national elections between 2012 and 2017. Several perspectives have been presented to account for the re- emergence of LDP predominance: institutionalism, leadership analysis, and policy performance. All these explanations have something to be desired to explain the phenomena. Alternatively this article suggests that three factors are critical to account for LDP predominance: LDP’s coalition strategy to bring in other parties while keeping the opposition divided; flexible and comprehensive support mobilization; and policy differentiation and consistency. Reconstruction of LDP predominance was possible because of Abe’s policy differentiation based on neo-conservative agendas, renewed right-wing support mobilization, and flexible partisan coalition strategy to embrace Komeito and Japan Restoration. LDP predominance under Abe’s leadership is likely to continue as long as Japanese economy remains resilient, oppositions are divided, and floating voters show residual support for the LDP.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.