Since last year, media outlets have given much coverage to citizens' groups opposing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's controversial security legislation.

Liberal intellectuals, too, have roundly criticized Abe and warn that his tenure could transform into an authoritarian regime.

But Abe's ruling coalition has weathered these storms to emerge the victor in all four of the latest national elections over the past four years, most recently in Sunday's Upper House election, and many are asking why.