by Bruce Klinger
The Heritage Foundation
November 16, 2012
Backgrounder
On December 16, the Japanese people will once again have an opportunity to reshape their nation’s political landscape. To many, such reform seemed imminent three years ago, when the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) swept into power. Yet the DPJ was unable to turn campaign promises into concrete reforms, and as a result, the Japanese public’s desire for political transformation remains unsatisfied. Polls indicate that the conservative LDP will gain a plurality and choose LDP President and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as Japan’s next prime minister. Abe’s conservative foreign policy views and the Japanese public’s growing concern over China provide an excellent opportunity for Washington to achieve several policy objectives critical to the health of the U.S.–Japan alliance.



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