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Following the launch of a new Cabinet under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, certain elements in Japan and overseas are warning of a dangerous swing to the right in Japan politics. I find their concerns hard to understand.

Objectively speaking, the country is still solidly left of center on issues of foreign and security policy. Indeed, by international standards, Japan remains a pacifist nation — here meaning not simply a nation that loves peace but also something less admirable — oddly out of touch with current realities.

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