August 2, 2006


The man seen as Japan's next leader: Shinzo Abe, a conservative who is hawkish on foreign policy, will most likely be tapped in late September (Bennett Richardson, 8/03/06, The Christian Science Monitor)

In a country where power most often proceeds from seniority and rank, the youthful Abe owes his rapid rise to his family pedigree, as well as a nationalist shift under Mr. Koizumi that has moved Japan toward a broader use of its military and a more muscular diplomacy in East Asia. Abe is a key critic of Pyongyang for instance, and less willing to accommodate Beijing and Seoul if it is seen to compromise national interests. The alarm in Japan at North Korea's recent missile launch allowed him to showcase his ability to talk decisively about Japanese options for handling threats. [...]

Koizumi's reform drive has lagged in recent months, adding to Abe's appeal as a youthful, energetic leader who could reignite the reform agenda begun by Koizumi, says Mr. Shirakawa. "There is strong support for rejuvenating not only the office of prime minister but also politics in general."

Yet another nation of the Axis of Good tilts even further towards the W model and Democrats think this is the ideal political climate for them?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 2, 2006 7:00 PM

I remember the days when OJ thought it was impossible for Koizumi, Merkel, and Harper to be elected.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at August 3, 2006 12:28 PM

easy enough to get elected because the Left obviously must fail miserably and the demographics favor the Right in the medium term--impossible to do anything to save their societies.

Posted by: oj at August 3, 2006 12:44 PM