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Japan’s right-wing taking hard aim at pacifist constitution

TOKYO/SEOUL – The two largest conservative parties in Japan’s lower house of Parliament – the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the upstart Japan Innovation Party (JIP, or Ishin No Kai) – have begun cozying up in earnest.

The snuggle is a result of the new influence wielded by the JIP, which was one of the surprise winners in the November election for the lower house of the Diet, and that is emblematic of Japan’s newly empowered right.

It is now the number three party in the house, after the LDP and the left-leaning Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the main opposition.

The cross-party conservative political love fest is important well beyond Japanese borders, for it increases the likelihood that the long-discussed but never-implemented constitutional reform will be placed squarely on the parliamentary agenda next year.