HKS Authors

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Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus


On December 16 Japan will hold an election and if the polls are correct, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will be replaced by Shinzo Abe, the opposition leader and former PM. If so, he would become Japan’s seventh prime minister in the past six years. Japanese public opinion is shifting to the right and in a more nationalistic direction. Not only has Mr Abe recently visited the Yasukuni Shrine, a controversial second world war memorial, but politicians to his right have formed new parties and staked out nationalistic positions. Shintaro Ishihara, the former Tokyo mayor who helped spur the dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands, speaks of Japan acquiring nuclear weapons. As once did Toru Hashimoto, the 43 year-old mayor of Osaka and founder of the “restoration association” party.


Nye, Jr., Joseph S. "Japan's Nationalism is a Sign of Weakness." Financial Times, November 27, 2012.