Rocket launch to boost hawks in Japan…

by Chris Zappone

…But that doesn’t necessarily mean the neo-nationalist Japanese Restoration Party cleans up in the December 16, according to this article.

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North Korea’s successful rocket launch on Wednesday is likely to swell support for hawks in the Liberal Democratic Party and in smaller parties, in a country already  feeling the heat from a territorial dispute with China.

Currently polls “point to an LDP-led coalition” winning, which would put ex-PM Shinzo Abe back in office.

Abe…has been hawkish since re-taking the LDP’s helm this year.
 
After months of tensions with Beijing over disputed islands in the East China Sea, he has pledged to boost maritime surveillance and re-write the post-World War II pacifist constitution foisted on Tokyo by its US occupiers, a nod to those calling for a more muscular military.
 
That stance could be boosted by North Korea’s launch.
Although to be fair, I understand that no matter who is elected, Japan won’t likely announce radical changes in its strategy with China, including over the disputed islands. Having said that, an increasing ratio of hawks to liberals points to an electorate growing restless with the status quo.