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Most international attention on East Asia today is sharply focused on North Korea’s nuclear and missile developments. But this does not mean that we can neglect the significant developments taking place in Japan’s domestic political landscape. Since winning the December 2012 elections, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has maintained a commanding majority in the national Diet, and Abe himself is sometimes called ‘all-powerful Abe’.

His is a strongly right-wing administration, backed by organisations of nationalist and reactionary character, such as the Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference), to which most members of the cabinet and Diet belong. Revision of the 1947 ‘peace constitution’ also remains a vital aspiration of Abe and his government, despite the high hurdles that must be surmounted to achieve this. Read more

Most international attention on East Asia today is sharply focused on North Korea’s nuclear and missile developments. But this does not mean that we can neglect the significant developments taking place in Japan’s domestic political landscape. Since winning the December 2012 elections, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has maintained a commanding majority in the national Diet, and Abe himself is sometimes called ‘all-powerful Abe’.

His is a strongly right-wing administration, backed by organisations of nationalist and reactionary character, such as the Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference), to which most members of the cabinet and Diet belong. Revision of the 1947 ‘peace constitution’ also remains a vital aspiration of Abe and his government, despite the high hurdles that must be surmounted to achieve this.

Most international attention on East Asia today is sharply focused on North Korea’s nuclear and missile developments. But this does not mean that we can neglect the significant developments taking place in Japan’s domestic political landscape. Since winning the December 2012 elections, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has maintained a commanding majority in the national Diet, and Abe himself is sometimes called ‘all-powerful Abe’.

His is a strongly right-wing administration, backed by organisations of nationalist and reactionary character, such as the Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference), to which most members of the cabinet and Diet belong. Revision of the 1947 ‘peace constitution’ also remains a vital aspiration of Abe and his government, despite the high hurdles that must be surmounted to achieve this.