The government's struggle to pass a pair of controversial security bills has made history in more ways than one. But the effort has failed in an important respect: to win public support.

The ruling camp has now spent more than 200 hours debating the bills in both chambers of the Diet, the longest such deliberation since the war, government officials have said.

Still, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's failure to win the support of the nation represents what some call one of the worst political blunders in the postwar period.