Nationalist parties have seized power in Japan, as the country’s new prime minister-in-waiting immediately fired a warning to China over the ownership of islands that have caused months of diplomatic tension.
The Telegraph [UK]
16 Dec 2012
Shinzo Abe, who returns to power after leading the Liberal Democratic Party to victory in general elections on Sunday, said there was no doubt about Japan’s ownership of the islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan, but the Diaoyus in China, at the centre of the row.
“China is challenging the fact that (the islands) are Japan’s inherent territory,” said Mr Abe. “Our objective is to stop the challenge. We don’t intend to worsen relations between Japan and China.”
Despite the Liberal Democrats’ name, Mr Abe’s party is inherently conservative and struck a nationalistic tone throughout the election, promising a return to prosperity for the world’s third-largest economy and a more assertive foreign policy.
Mr Abe’s party won 294 seats in the 480-seat lower house of the Diet, up from just 119 seats before election day.
Yoshihiko Noda, the prime minister, last night conceded defeat after his party was humbled. He immediately resigned as leader of his party, calling the results “extremely severe”…
…Even more indicative of the rise of the right was the 54 seats that the Japan Restoration Party claimed.
Only founded in November, the party is led by unrepentant nationalist Shintaro Ishihara, the former governor of Tokyo, who has said he intends to restore the nation’s dented pride.
He has already suggested there is a need for Japan to arm itself with nuclear weapons, expand the military and revise the pacifist constitution…
The complete article is at The Telegraph.