One major issue in the campaign for the Dec. 16 Lower House election is the diplomatic dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Some politicians and others on the Japanese side are taking a hawkish stance, but such an approach will only harden attitudes on the Chinese side, making it more difficult to resolve the issue. In such difficult diplomatic circumstances, it is all the more important to act in a coolheaded manner and to demonstrate ingenuity.

Conspicuous in the current election campaign is the hawkish approach of the Liberal Democratic Party, which is calling for revising the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution to create the National Defense Force and for exercising the right to collective self-defense. Some of the so-called third pole forces, including the Japan Restoration Party, take a similar stance.

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