The Prime Minister has called a sudden snap election. The timing is deliberately chosen to catch his opponents off-guard. His plans to take advantage of his high approval ratings, telling voters he can protect their country and face down foreign powers on their behalf. And his opposition are in shambles, save for a kooky outfit promising hope and change. What could possibly go wrong?
To Britons this all sounds eerily familiar, but it is not the story of Theresa May. It is the story of Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan, who is hoping to cash in the good will he has earned confronting North Korea after a summer of personal scandals.
Abe has dominated Japanese politics for five years and the traditional opposition parties are falling apart. But he now faces a new challenge from a new party calling themselves the Party of Hope. So could he suffer the same fate as May, defeated by an upstart opponent exploiting a mood of popular disenchantment? It’s very possible – for just as moderates across Europe are being punished for their failure to respond to the challenges of the age, and deserted by electorates in favour of the far Right and Left, Japan is a country in trouble whose politicians have so far failed to get it out.
Read more in The Telegraph.