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With growing protests and objections by a majority of voters in opinion polls, the Japanese public’s division over a major postwar security policy change approved early Saturday is likely to remain and could further undermine confidence in the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Referring to the Diet enactment of contentious security legislation, critics say they will step up moves with academics, lawyers, students and others to “punish” Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its ruling coalition partner, Komeito, in a House of Councilors’ election slated for next summer.

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