If Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lasts for another year or two, Toshimitsu Motegi will be best-postured to succeed him.
For Michael Macarthur Bosack's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Abe demonstrated that he is clearly in the driver's seat, posturing his allies for advancement in the LDP ranks, keeping bandwagoners contained and edging out rivals altogether.
The next step in the evolution of Japanese security practice will involve growing pains, but for better or worse, the Abe administration has demonstrated its willingness to endure some friction to posture against China's steadily increasing presence in the East China Sea.
Accusations that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stands to gain politically by getting tough with South Korea miss the mark.
With critical leadership positions and policy agendas being influenced by these formal groups, it is important to recognize the continued relevance of factions in Japanese politics today.
Don't expect Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to pursue constitutional revisionism in earnest until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The results of the Upper House elections promise exactly what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe campaigned upon: stability.
For Japanese and South Koreans, this anniversary ought to present a reminder that back-and-forth erosion of trust is in neither of their self-interests.
Japan's participation in any coalition in the Persian Gulf region is far from a foregone conclusion
The Upper House election is unlikely to produce a significant change in the composition of the Diet, but it will still shape the near-term political landscape significantly.