Gen Nakatani, a lawmaker who served in the armed forces for several years, has served as defense minister before and favorsJapan having the ability to hit enemy bases pre-emptively in the face of imminent attack.He replaces Akinori Eto, who had faced questions over his use of political funds. The rest of the cabinet, Abe’s third since he returned to power late in 2012, was unchanged. […]Nakatani’s appointment could draw fire from China, especially given Abe’s stated goal of a stronger security profile for Japan that includes passing a law in 2015 to reinterpret its pacifist constitution.
The move has already prompted a carefully worded condemnation from China. If Abe pushes through that law to reinterpret the constitution, however, Beijing’s response may not be so tempered. Watch out for fireworks in the new year, as Asia’s game of thrones heads into the next round.