It is October 22, 2017, election day in Japan. It has been raining cats and dogs since last night basically all over Japan. Voting will finish in  about two hours. So what are we to expect besides getting soaked when leaving the house today.

I have only a few moderate predictions:

  1. Voting turnout will be clearly higher than the record low of 53 percent in 2014 – despite the lousy weather.
  2. Abe will score a big victory and achieve a result similar to that of 2014 in conjunction with his coalition partner Komeito.
  3. The Party of Hope of Tokyo Governor Koike will only come in as third-strongest force, which looks at surface like an outright defeat.

But Koike will stay around. By not handing in her candidacy for prime minister, she has avoided or to be more specific will avoid that this election will end her run and chances at the highest political post, which remains in sight.

There is yet no viable contender to challenge Abe more than Koike. Let us watch out her moves over the next 12 months. And let us never forget that she has already belonged to five different political parties.

I have never said that she will throw in her cap for becoming prime minister representing the Party of Hope, this is just one of many options. Doing it on the ticket of the LDP might seem unthinkable today, but it actually is not.

Jochen Legewie

Jochen Legewie

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