Japan’s voters, in an election held Sunday, October 22, gave Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a great boost in his position in parliament.
Abe leads Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, which has been the country’s dominant party since 1955, despite some brief periods of opposition leadership. The LDP, and its coalition partners, won big in this weekend’s election, which Abe called a year earlier than it had been expected, apparently surprising and confusing the opposition.
One analyst, interviewed by The New York Times, spoke of the “Abe conundrum,” that is, the fact that the prime minister is “basically unpopular with voters … yet he keeps winning in elections.”
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Abe is associated with a hawkish stance, and the continued saber rattling from North Korea (which tests its missiles literally over the heads of the Japanese) has surely helped him politically.