Dr. Kristi Govella gives commentary on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s political challenges at home & abroad

Dr. Kristi Govella, Assistant Professor in the Asian Studies Program, recently commented in The New York Times and USA Today about Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s political challenges at home and abroad.

Domestically, Abe is facing the fallout of a scandal involving the highly discounted sale of land by the government to a school associated with his wife. “There has been a lot of new evidence that has come to light that there has been some kind of cover-up,” Kristi Govella, assistant professor of Asian studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said of the inquiry surrounding Mr. Abe. “As time goes on, the disjuncture between what he’s saying and the facts that are coming to light with the scandals just really increases public distrust and feelings that his leadership is no longer what the country needs.”

Abe is also facing challenges abroad, as Japan seeks assurance that the US will consider its interests in the upcoming meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Japan also wishes to be exempted from US tariffs on steel and aluminum, as a number of other countries have already been. Dr. Govella said that Abe arrives at Mar-a-Lago “hoping to combat perceptions that Japan has been sidelined in recent weeks and reestablish his country as an important partner of the United States.”

Read the full articles here:

USA Today, “Trump backs North-South Korea Peace Talks in Summit with Japan’s Leader at Mar-a-Lago,” April 17, 2018, by David Jackson.

The New York Times, “As Scandal-Tarred Abe Meets Trump, ‘the Situation is Getting Dangerous’,” April 16, 2018, by Motoko Rich.