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Anti-China Hawks to Take Over in Japan?


Japan’s main opposition party picked former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as its new leader Wednesday, a move likely to jack up pressure on the government to take a hard line against China.

In a rare political comeback in Japan, Mr. Abe is likely to lead the Liberal Democratic Party into a general election that is expected within months. He could once again become prime minister should the party return to power. Recent media polls show the LDP ahead of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan in voter support.

Mr. Abe is known for his hawkish security stance as well as his conservative, controversial views on Japan’s wartime actions. His party leadership victory comes at a time when Tokyo’s ties with its Asian neighbors have been frayed by rising tensions over territorial disputes.

Via Meadia wrote about Japan’s resurgent nationalism last week. The news that Abe is now head of the LDP—and according to recent polls the best bet for Japan’s next prime minister—confirms our fears that Tokyo will soon take an even more confrontational stance toward China in ongoing economic and territorial disagreements. Watch out.

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