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Will Japan’s New Nationalist Government Go to War with China?

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On December 17, 2012 @ 12:46 pm In The Point | 18 Comments

Japan is an interesting test case. It’s a canary in the coal mine for the experiment of how much a First World country can decline demographically while spending massive amounts on social entitlements until its economy declines, all the while being crowded into a corner by China because of the misguided pacifism of the post-war era.

Japan’s population skews old and they may have just decided that enough is enough. Imagine the complete opposite of the election that America just had, and Japan just had it. 

The conservative party that dominated post-war Japan is back in power after a three-year absence, in a landslide election victory Sunday that will result in hawkish Shinzo Abe returning as prime minister.

Japanese voters handed a landslide victory Sunday to the main opposition party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Its hawkish leader Shinzo Abe, set for a second stint as prime minister, promises to revive Japan’s stagnant economy and stand up to an increasingly assertive China.

By late Sunday night Tokyo time, exit poll projections suggested the LDP and its likely coalition partner, the New Komeito Party, could have a two thirds’ “super majority” in the lower, more powerful, House of Representatives, he said.

Outnumbered by Japan’s senior citizens, young people “don’t go to vote because they feel it doesn’t really count,” said Noguchi, who urged lawmakers to connect the younger generation to the political process by ending the ban on social media use by candidates during the official campaign.

The conservative Liberal Democratic Party was projected by NHK Television to win 291 out of 480 seats in Japan’s lower house, while its ally, the New Komeito Party, had 30. That would give them the two-third majority needed to overrule the upper house, perhaps breaking deadlocks that have long stymied Japanese governments.

Nippon Ishin no Kai, the genuinely right-wing nationalist party, only scored 54 seats, but that’s still not too shabby and means that a right-wing coalition will be a breeze to manage.

Shinzo Abe, who returns to power after leading the Liberal Democratic Party to victory in general elections on Sunday, said there was no doubt about Japan’s ownership of the islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan, but the Diaoyus in China, at the centre of the row.

“China is challenging the fact that (the islands) are Japan’s inherent territory,” said Mr Abe. “Our objective is to stop the challenge. We don’t intend to worsen relations between Japan and China.”

Despite the Liberal Democrats’ name, Mr Abe’s party is inherently conservative and struck a nationalistic tone throughout the election, promising a return to prosperity for the world’s third-largest economy and a more assertive foreign policy.

Even more indicative of the rise of the right was the 54 seats that the Japan Restoration Party claimed.

Only founded in November, the party is led by unrepentant nationalist Shintaro Ishihara, the former governor of Tokyo, who has said he intends to restore the nation’s dented pride.

He has already suggested there is a need for Japan to arm itself with nuclear weapons, expand the military and revise the pacifist constitution.

War with China, may or may not be on the horizon. China generally only picks the fights that it knows it can win.

Obama will pressure Japan to give in, but that will only fuel the Japanese right which is anti-American, and Chinese pressure may provide the impetus for a more serious and sustained rearmament.

Japan is approaching a crisis point where the power vacuum created by the Obama coup over America will make it far more vulnerable to military, political and economic threats. And that is a golden opportunity for the right to rebuild a stronger Japan.


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