Post-Election Japan: PM Abe Likely to Be Firm but Flexible on Senkaku

Issue & Policy Briefs December 18, 2012, No. 110

The LDP won a landslide in Japan’s Lower House elections on December 16. Shinzo Abe will be appointed prime minister later this month. With the election campaign over, it’s time for Abe to act and implement the LDP’s election promises. If some of the measures he has suggested during the election campaign are implemented, especially those on the contentious Senkaku/Diaoyu issue, it will have repercussions that both Japan and its neighbors have reasons to fear. However, Abe’s tough talk during the election campaign was largely meant for domestic consumption. It is likely that Abe as new prime minister will be firm but flexible on the Senkaku issue.