Japan

Shinzo Abe’s fall from grace: of his own making

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Crucial to Shinzo Abe’s control over his ruling party has been a string of electoral victories under his leadership and his cabinet’s consistently high poll ratings. Both now look increasingly in doubt After a dream run as Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe’s current political predicament must come as quite a shock. Plummeting poll ratings […]

Japan

A Heisei Restoration? Aligning Japan with a globalising world

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Could Japan’s current era—known as the Heisei—see a ‘restoration’ under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a scale of the Meiji Restoration 250 years ago? At the beginning of the twenty-first century’s second decade Japan was at a crossroads. After 250 years of self-imposed isolation (1603–1867) the Meiji Restoration ushered in a cultural milieu and national […]

Japan

Abe apology unlikely in statement to mark 70th anniversary of ending of the Pacific War

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MICHAEL HEAZLE weighs the benefits of an apology from Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe next month for Japan’s actions during the Pacific War. When Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe makes his long-awaited commemorative statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the ending of the Pacific War this August, it will almost certainly be a rehearsal […]

Japan

The democratic deficit of collective self-defence in Japan

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The manner in which Shinzo Abe’s cabinet has reinterpreted the pacifist clause of Japan’s constitution invokes unsettling shadows from former, darker days, writes RIKKI KERSTEN. When Abe Shinzo’s cabinet decided on 1 July 2014 to revise the interpretation of the pacifist clause of Japan’s constitution, commentators in Japan and around the world took notice. Those […]