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The Study on Election Strategy for the Independent Voters During the Second Abe Regime



Parallel abstracts

After Shinzo Abe returned to power, he won consecutive battles in the national elections, having the longest reign in the history of constitutional government in Japan. The second Abe regime has also become the focus of research in Japanese politics. Most of the previous research on national elections focused on how the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) established one-party dominance through the victory of the national elections, and attributed the LDP's victory to the election cooperation between the LDP and the Komeito, as well as the failed integration of the opposition parties, while the independent voters were rarely discussed. Japan's independent voters have undergone remarkable growth since the 1960s and amounted to half the electorate during the second Abe regime. The voting behavior of the independent voters becomes the key to the success or failure of the election. What the voting behavior of independent voters is and what the electoral strategy for independent voters Prime Minister Abe adopts are two crucial factors in explaining why the second Abe regime becomes a long-term regime. This paper finds that for fear of losing support among independent voters, Prime Minister Abe adopted economic policies to cater to public opinion, avoided policy debates to reduce the dissatisfaction from independent voters, and took advantage of new media to win the support among young people in elections. Judged from the support of independent voters and young people, Prime Minister Abe's strategy is successful.