tv France 24 AM News LINKTV October 1, 2021 5:30am-6:01am PDT
>> stopgap funding bill easily passed the house and senate. it's now been signed into law by president joe biden just hours before funding was set to run out. the house prepares to vote on a trillion dollar infrastructure plan. here's more from capitol hill. >> the democrats who control the house are divided on whether or not to support this bill.
honestly, they all appear to agree that what it contains is good for the country, they support the bill, but they just don't support what time to vote on it. liberal democrats won another bill to be voted on first. the bigger package that contains the majority of president biden's domestic agenda which is expansion of government that the country hasn't seen in decades. >> the united states is condemning ethiopia for expelling senior officials. do you and staff have been accused of meddling in ethiopia is internal affairs and given 72 hours to leave. >> u.s. government condemns in the strongest possible terms the unprecedented action to expel all the united nations organizations involved in ongoing humanitarian operations. re-agree with you and leaders,
this is a stain on our collective conscience and it must stop. >> more than 22,000 refugees and migrants are currently stuck in a colombian town as they wait for smugglers to help them cross into panama. the migrants, most of them are from haiti and attempting to travel through a gap which is one of the most dangerous regions in the world. the latest addition of "inside story" is next. ♪ >> japan looks set to get a new prime minister after leadership contest in the party.
change in how japan faces challenges at home and abroad. this is "inside story." ♪ hello and welcome to the show. he was paid by veteran party members and criticized for being old-school. now the former foreign minister is leading japan's ruling liberal democratic party. he was seen as a safe choice, as he faces general elections in november. he's challenged with leading the party to victory after its popularity declined, but it's got to win public support, too. the most favored contender among
the japanese people, he has pledged to counter china's growing influence and promised to narrow japan's income inequality gap. reporter: he's the new chief of the governing liberal democratic party. he is also set to become prime minister as his party and coalition partner control the houses of parliament. it's the second time the former foreign minister has run for the leadership after competing against the outgoing premier last year. in his acceptance speech, he promised to lead the party to success in next month general election. >> i want to formally show a reborn liberal democratic party to japanese citizens and urge them to support us. from today, i will, with all the energy get straight to work. party members around the country
and members of parliament, please work with me. reporter: a first round boat had failed to produce a majority winner and two female contenders dropped out of the race. in a runoff, he faced an outspoken minister in charge of japan's covid-19 vaccine rollout who had been ahead in opinion polls. but widely regard as a safe pair of hands, he had the support of lawmakers and beat his rival by 257-170. analyst say his rise to the premiership is unlikely to defend -- to affect defense and international relations. he supports close ties with western democracy to counter china's growing influence in the region. on the economy, he has pledged to spend on a stimulus package and emphasize the need to distribute more wealth to households, but first he faces difficult challenge, a general election that has to be held by
november. >> what i expect to see is something ambitious, like a very large stimulus package dedicated to pandemic management in the health system in general. although, of course, nothing is really going to be implemented, there's going to be no evidence of success in time for the election, so to a large extent, he's going to be selling hope and asking the electric to trust him rather than demonstrating any concrete results there. reporter: he may be seen as a stable choice, but some analysts say his bland image may work against him in the upcoming polls. >> let's bring in our guest now joining us from tokyo, a professor of political science.
a professor of management and in tokyo, a professor of international studies. welcome to you all. donna, he lacks popular support he appears to suffer from some of the weak points which got the better of his predecessor. why did the liberal democrats choose him? >> i guess because they weren't all that keen to have the man with better favor with the younger members and the broader public. they made some swift changes and deals to ensure that they got their man. >> so listening to what donna said, is this just a classic case of the elites prevailing over the party rank-and-file,
perhaps even over the will of the public? >> i would agree with that. before the leadership race was concluded yesterday, there was a lot of speculation about the factions allowing a free vote, which wouldn't usually happen, because as donna said, a lot of the younger members are worried they could lose their seats in the upcoming election that will happen sometime in november. but i would say the factions reasserted themselves, and the vote was close. he just got picked by one vote.
so that was the sign that the faction had reasserted themselves and swung their weight behind him. really about half of the branch voted the first round but it wasn't enough to get him through the second round. >> we talk about this as a sign of the factions getting their way, who are we talking about? are we talking about a narrow faction, the more conservative right wing leaning elements of the ldp? >> not necessarily so, it's a power play between the faction levels. the fact of the matter is there is a tendency that the mps tend to go on the bandwagon of who the winner is likely to be because you will get a better allocation of their position in the ministries at all.
so there is that tendency to simply go for the winter and on a factual basis, he's had the upper hand. so some solid asset last-minute rush to support him for that reason. many of the ldp members, mps, that is, would like to sustain the status quo, particularly with the election coming up in november, and their excessively conservative nature obviously brought them to bring him in as prime minister. >> a moment ago we were talking about how it is a sign of factional elites prevailing of the public and over the grass roots of the ldp. do you think the liberal democrats are going to pay a price for that when it comes to general elections being held in november, as we all expect? >> this time around, probably
not. the opposition parties haven't really been able to make much ground even this last year or so of the coronavirus and covid and how the ldp has been dealing with that and stumbling with the next national rollout and so on. if ever there had been a time that the opposition parties could made some advances, now would have been it. the other thing we will have to take into account is, today is the last day of the state of emergency. the state of emergency is lifted in just a couple of hours now, which means that people can start to go out again, to bars and restaurants and entertainment and so on. and they're starting to serve alcohol again which i anticipate will give people a little bit of a lift. and it may work in his favor that when people come to vote they will have a sense perhaps
that things are starting to lift, and given that the elections are largely won and lost on economic issues, i think potentially there will be a lift in the sense of the economic environment and people might say let's go with the ldp again. >> taken that scenario, even if the relaxing of some of the coronavirus restrictions does give him a bit of a lift, as donna put it there, even if he wins elections, will it be enough to give him a strong mandate to carry out any serious reforms? >> the question is, does he really want to conduct a reform and is that what is expected? to the public, he will say the ldp has reforms, but it's clear he's not going to make radical changes as his opponent would've
done. that's one of the reasons why the mps voted for him. he will make some modifications. >> when he talks about making changes, addressing the wealth gap, you don't think any of that is serious? >> of course it is serious. in japan, the income inequality gap, in my opinion, the japanese are probably the ones who have realized the idealism of socialism. in other words, we don't have a lot of inequality gap compared to other nations, but that is it. that has widened quite dramatically, especially after covid-19. so of a sleeve this is one thing he has to tackle. but the same thing had been said as well, it's a hallmark that all politicians have to do, so it's really nothing new in that context. the radical changes i'm talking about is destruction within the
ldp. trying to basically balance things out. he is known as a good balancer. i doubt there will be drastic innovative change within the ldp but on the policy side, of course there will be -- he is already announced a package already. it makes it easier because the public's anger has simmered down , as donna was saying, and also the vaccine saturation level has almost reached the same level as the united states and the united kingdom, so things are definitely getting a lot better as far as the environment is concerned. >> you've got to wonder whether the talk of a new cat by the new
leader, the incoming prime minister, the vote is expected to pass easily. how radically new a vision do you expect then? it's basically a political balancing at. >> we will have to see what the actual concrete policy proposals are going to be. he did clearly say he's going to depart from abe economics by saying something had to go to address the income gap. under abe's policies, the stock market did increase and the big corporations showed profits, there were huge cash reserves and wages had been really flat.
so you would have to say that his policies to walk the walk rather than talk the talk. it's interesting, it was just announced today about who his secretary-general is going to be. he is a hidden weight in the ldp , after the deputy prime minister. he was one of the key architects of abe economics, he's the economic revitalization minister under shinzo abe. he was forced to step down under a bribery scandal. so he's been chosen as secretary-general.
that's an indication of how much the ldp establishment has reasserted itself. so there's indication that shinzo abe has been very happy with the outcome of yesterday's leadership election. and the ldp policy chief, so we've had some interesting juggling of the party positions already. the deputy prime minister is now going to be vice president. >> that segues into the question i was going to ask donna. is it an extension of shinzo abe's policies? some say if anything the contest shows the continuing power or at
least influence of shinzo abe in the ldp. >> i think there was never going to be any doubt as to how much influence abe was going to continue to hold, particularly last year when he didn't resign from power. it was a sure sign he was playing to stick around for as long as he could. so i'm not surprised too much in that regard. i guess in the 24 hours or so since yesterday, they say 24 hours is a long time in politics. certainly, yesterday we might've been a little bit optimistic and perhaps some of what he deep down wants to do might come through, but i think the last 24 hours in the positions that craig just mentioned, we are waiting for the announcement of those positions to see how much he was going to be constrained by the deals, and clearly he's
going to be very constrained. and i think next week when we see the cabinet, we will get a greater indication of how much he's going to have to stick to the abe line for a little longer. >> will that rescue japan from the stagnation, from the challenges that japan didn't overcome even under the rule of shinzo abe? >> the fact of the matter is that, the first era was fine, the income of the japanese explorers has surge, which was expected to basically increase, the income of the japanese people, that didn't happen. so they both were indirectly making sure that they would
certainly push for the increase of wages to take place. so that private spending will basically flourish. but in japan, one of the characteristically japan -- japanese consumer spending is that you have to have secure conditions of the corporations. still, even though the system is crumbling, the stable condition of these companies are a must for the japanese to start spending. so obviously it will be very difficult, even if you make these policies and he is able to implement them. this is an important thing about japan, you have to have a good price to implement the policies they come up with. so he will have a pretty good pipeline there. but will his new policies have
the effect to basically turn japan around? that remains a very big question. >> i'm glad you touched upon exports and trade, it gives us an opportunity to pivot toward foreign policy. do you expect him to take a hawk's policy toward china, one of its biggest trading partners? >> he's going to have to strike a balance. it's interesting, he did make some more hawkish gestures, he said is going to appoint a special advisor to look at the human rights situation in china, treatment of the uighurs and he's looking at increasing the spending of the self-defense forces, expanding strike
capacity including cruise missiles. on the other hand, how important it is to have stable relations with china, and since it is japan's largest trading partner, we will have to see how he can handle that balance. he did it fairly well when he was foreign minister to keep relations fairly steady. with the rising geopolitical tensions between china and the united states, it's going to be a big ask as well. >> donna, given what he said on the campaign trail, he is expected to continue the sort of alliance japan has traditionally had with the u.s.. do you think japan feels a little bit left out of this alliance?
>> particularly as an australian here in tokyo, when the news of the alliance broke, it was somewhat surprising, and i guess to me as someone who's done a lot of work in this area for the last 30 years, kind of going back to an anglosphere kind of approach to the region, we've had a lot of confidence building over the last several years through the various multilateral architectures and so on. i don't know the term, we can talk about the pros and cons of the quad, but the quad was at least starting to emerge as something that key powers in the region, key countries in the region could make something of. the structure that's coming out, i think certainly in the short term it's going to cost a little
bit in terms of trust. i think japan is now sort of thinking, where exactly do we sit, here's another layer we have to contemplate. just as japan was anticipating or expecting, and i think some in the ldp have talked about joining the five i's, i think it's maybe a momentary setback at least. but as foreign minister, his faction is somewhat more of the dovish side. he has made some strong statements as far as his heritage. so he will have to make some pragmatic choices between what he might want himself in terms of security and when he will have to go as prime minister at this stage. >> that's a really interesting
point. pragmatism may be coming through. does that explain why, for example, we've seen signals from china, the chinese state rod castor describing the victory is the best option for beijing, despite the noises he made about china on the campaign trail. >> actually, the most hawkish person has been basically spun off on the first round. he had been the longest serving, so obviously he has international relations. so from that aspect he might be seen as very positive for japan-china relations. with that said, as the formation of the quad makes it clear where
it each man has to stand, and obviously he has to clarify that in the international arena. that is both from a trade and border perspective, japan will be under the umbrella of the united states, especially in means of security. the fight over hegemony between the united states and china that's occurring in all areas including trade, communication and finance, which side is japan going to be? is clear, in spite of the very large trade that we have with china. with the modification of supply chains that japan has to tackle immediately, but this excessive reliance on china in various areas has to also change as well. that's a big hallmark that hasn't been talked about that much. >> we will have to leave it
there, it's been fascinating. let's think our guests or the discussion. and thank you for watching, you can see the show again any time by visiting our website, al jazeera.com. for further scsi -- further discussion, though to my facebook page and join the conversation on twitter. from me and the whole team here, for now, it's goodbye.
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