Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, July 21, 2013.
Issei Kato / Courtesy Reuters

For Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the recent electoral triumph of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in upper-house elections was a personal redemption; he has come a long way since his political downfall in 2007, when he resigned as prime minister after serving only a year in office. More importantly, though, the victory gave his party and its coalition partner control of both chambers of the legislature. For the better part of the last six years, Japanese politics had been locked in a standoff between the upper and lower houses, which different parties controlled. The battle now won, the conservative prime minister will, in theory, be able to pass legislation at will.

That has caused some anxiety in the international press that Abe, who has thus far focused on fixing his country’s troubled economy, will shed his sheep’s skin and reveal his inner wolf. In light of the LDP

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.