With polls earlier this month showing a majority of voters opposed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s controversial security bills, and with the ruling bloc taking a shellacking from liberal media outlets, the nation’s major opposition parties were encouraged to remain united in attempting to block the legislation.

Then on Sept. 18, the bills, designed to greatly expand the legal scope of Japan’s military role overseas, were rammed through the Upper House by Abe’s ruling coalition amid an uproar.

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