August 5, 2007
More than Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party have been set back by the drubbing they took in last Sunday’s election in Japan.
An opportunity for leadership in Asia has faded. A chance to overcome the “demons of history” left from World War II has slipped away. The time to revise the pacifist constitution and to shoulder more of the common defense has been delayed. And Japan’s negotiating position has been weakened in talks intended to foil North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
In Tokyo, the prime minister has been severely censured by his voters and now confronts a legislature in which his party controls the lower House of Representatives while the opposition Democratic Party of Japan ….