On 30th April, Emperor Akihito abdicated and handed over to his son Naruhito – something that has not happened for 200 years. But it will change nothing for the vast majority of the population in Japan who are struggling to make ends meet. Still the world’s third largest economy in total GDP terms, Japan is stagnating – hit by...

Japan’s Heisei Era – which began on January 8th, 1989, in line with Emperor Akihito’s ascension to the throne – will end next April with his abdication. This will be a purely symbolic ‘end of an era’, however, as for many millions of ordinary Japanese working-class people, the misery of capitalism will continue unabated.

The victory of Abe Shinzo in the October 20 general election opens up the possibility of him becoming the longest serving post-war Japanese Prime Minister. However, appearances can be deceptive, and his overwhelming victory does not indicate that the path ahead for him will be smooth or that Japan is set for a new period of stability.

Committee for a workers' International publications


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