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Shinzo Abe Snap Election Following Swell in Support

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Included in Abe’s proposed reform is a revision of the nation’s post-World War II pacifist constitution, which limits its ability to defend against North Korea, and a desperately-needed $48 billion increase in the country’s missile defense network.

At The Corner, Philip H. DeVoe writes: Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe called a snap election yesterday, hoping to capitalize on newfound support for his hardline stance on dealing with North Korea. His approval rating has skyrocketed to 50 percent, more than 20 points higher than his all-time low last July. The plebiscite is scheduled for October 22.

If successful, Abe’s re-election will help him consolidate power in the Liberal Democrat party and enact defense reform to help the nation address the North Korean threat. Included in that proposed reform is a revision of the nation’s post-World War II pacifist constitution, which limits its ability to defend against North Korea, and a desperately-needed $48 billion increase in the country’s missile defense network. Part of that budget would go toward purchasing U.S. systems, such as the Aegis Ashore interceptors or the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

[Read the full story here, at NRO]

While Abe’s militaristic policy has enjoyed support among the Japanese people, especially given public concern over the two missiles North Korea has fired over the northern island of Hokkaido, it threatens to drive a further wedge between Japan and China. China has expressed its objection to Japanese acquisition of THAAD, because it is capable of monitoring Chinese military activity … (read more)

via National Review

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