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Everyone had been wondering when the real Shinzo Abe would bare the dark recesses of his political soul. There had been some glimpses, but with Abenomics in a swoon amid growing skepticism about its sustainability, Japan’s prime minister finally ripped off his mask as he rammed secrecy legislation through the Diet, steamrollering an opposition in disarray.

It was a move reminiscent of his grandfather’s denouement in 1960. Back then, Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi frog-marched the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty through the Diet in what turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory, because he was forced to step down due to massive street demonstrations and overwhelming public criticism.

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