Shinzo Abe: Japan's PM resigns for health reasons

Between The Lines


Well Shinzo Abe was Japan's longest-serving later and he surprised the world last week with his resignation. Now, alibi had been in power at an early stage in two thousand and six, hundred seven, and that I turn was cut short by the same illness that prompted him to leave power in late August. Now, when he departed politics the first time this is in two thousand and seven virtually all the experts they will wrote obeys political obituary however, one Australian diplomat who has fallen Japanese politics closely for half a century he didn't off by indeed he predicted a remarkable political comeback any kept in touch with our by during his wilderness years. When I buy shocked the political world bartending power five years later in two thousand, twelve that Australian as it happens hit become ambassador to Japan and relations between our two nations became close them. Bruce Miller was Australia's ambassador to Japan from eleven to twenty seventeen bruce welcome to our in. Lobby to be here. Join you. Now tell us more about the night show of your relations with. Well look thanks for the very generous comments. Just made just doing my job and that is getting to know everyone matters and bring influence to ban to advance Australia interests now. I had known since I bet a previous postings in Japan had forty association with the country but I suppose it was when I ride back in. Japan in two thousand eleven as ambassador. That I actually sought him out at a time when he was a down and out he was as you said, he'd step down for the prime ministership in two thousand seven a know what he's going to be pm again now I went around calling all sorts of people in my first few months in the job as ambassador and one of the machine. So I've. Talked to him quite a bit of the year or two between my rival and him returning to the Prime Ministership and where Abbott cover all sorts of things in those conversations. Bilateral relations a free trade agreement trans-pacific. Partnership. Even things like immigration and how to handle the US and how to handle. China. Now, that was a golden opportunity for. But as a site was what any of us would do presented with those those very same circumstance. Yeah. Putting comebacks are fascinating story. you think of Churchill Men's as Nixon Howard Netanyahu and of course, Dr Mahalia what kind of characteristics did obey display that made you think he could defy the odds and mount has spectacularly. Was a capacity introspection for for reflection and for pragmatist dressy learned from where he'd gone wrong and realize it was actually okay to change your mind about how you do things to show that sort of flexibility and you know he reflected long and hard after his failed attempt prime minister as to what had gone wrong. And I think he knew he realized he needed to get the economy right and didn't pay that much attention in two thousand, six, seven also realized I. think he needed to have the right people around him to get things done even if they weren't longstanding loyalists that's where it gone wrong in two thousand six too many loyalists and not enough competent people around him. And I think the last thing he realizes he need to centralize more decision making in the Prime Minister's office. And because again, he wasn't in control controlled with things the time round, those three things I can now let's turn to his record empower in Japan now, this was the Wall Street Journal editorial page quote Abe's i-it's office were characterized by he's multi-front campaign to turn Japan into a more normal country. Now, they go on to talk about domestic and foreign policy is that you'll since tubers. Well third not to use the term normal country it was coined by one of his political enemies isn't used matching inside Japan Americans like to use. But as undoubtedly true, he's done an awful lot across the board As the Wall Street Journal. said to change Japan he's is domestically lay studied I is. Mix. Of made a real difference, they can't call the nominee on a Lloyd success at all deregulation has been slow and monetary policy under Kuroda the Bank of Japan another Arrow. In the in the the three hours in. Avi. NOMEX hasn't achieved its goals of two percent inflation or let alone has Japan achieved its goal of two percent growth. But you'd find you'll find that most senior Japanese business people will sign it as stewardship economically has been good enough and look by Morton international standards the Japanese government doesn't have a bad record frankly every year and has being a signature economic reform but had big trade liberalization with had reformer the agriculture sector We've also had some improvements in corporate governance, more independent directors that sort of thing. There's been some progress on female dissipation in the workforce and more recently a more organized prior grandma foreign labor mobility. Down I call it immigration although that isn't the terminology used by the Japanese government. Now, those things seem participation, the workforce and. Immigration they're only stops they should have been started the years democracy doesn't catch up on you quickly it's a long it's a long term process, but it's still a great thing has kicked off with was. The last ten years with those those policies.

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