Abe’s got a mandate. One can expect some movement now.
Following the landslide victory by Prime Minister Abe in Japan’s Sunday elections, which left his ruling coalition with a supermajority allowing him to change Japan’s constitution, Abe wasted no time in signalling a push towards his long-held goal of revising Japan’s post-war, pacifist constitution, however as Reuters reported earlier, Abe would “need to convince a divided public to succeed.” Parties in favor of amending the U.S.-drafted charter won nearly 80% of the seats in Sunday’s lower house election, leaving the small, new Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) as the biggest group opposed to Abe’s proposed changes. Still, Abe claimed he wanted to get other parties on board, including Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s new conservative Party of Hope, and was not insisting on a target of changing the constitution by 2020 that he floated this year.
Yet, despite Abe’s soothing vision, just one day after the election Japan was already setting the groundwork for creating the strawman that would be needed to get public support largely behind Abe’s militant venture.
As a result, Japan’s defense minister said on Monday that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities have grown to an “unprecedented, critical and imminent” level, requiring “different responses” to the threat.
The minister, Itsunori Odonera, was quoted by AP as saying that this rising threat compels his country to endorse the U.S. view that “all options” must be considered, which President Donald Trump says includes possible military action. And since this pivot would require a revised constitution, the next step is already in play.