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“Historic,” that much-overused word, seems almost acceptable as a description of the Upper House elections earlier this month that gave Japan — for the first time in its postwar history — a government strong enough to get serious about rewriting the Constitution.

Arguably other factors make it historic too. One is the participation of the youngest people ever to vote in a Japanese election: 18- and 19-year-olds. Another was discerned by American political scientist Gerald Curtis, who, writing mid-campaign for the Wall Street Journal, remarked, “Never in Japan’s postwar history has the political opposition been as enfeebled as it is now.”

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