Shinzo Abe's recent landslide victory may be a personal redemption for the Japanese prime minister from the huge political blow his career received in 2007; however, the same sparked fears in the international community, not least in China and in South Korea. His win triggered speculations that the quiet sheep focusing on resolving Japan's troubled economy will now be bold enough to reveal his inner wolf anytime soon.
Suspicions that the Japanese prime minister will use his newly attained power to pass legislation at will to return Japan back into its old imperial ways were raised. Many claimed that economic reforms would take a backseat to political and military strategies.. For one, many perceive that he will focus on amending Article 9 of Japan's constitution, which restricts the country's military capabilities when settling international disputes.
Many fear that the prime minister's right wing foreign policy views might come into the fore soon. Moreover, they believe China is set to be at the receiving end of Japan's imperialist ways if this happens. Japan is expected to do everything in its power to contain China, which is also dealing with negative speculations targeted at her for alleged bullying antics in the Asia-Pacific region.
Political analysts reject this kind of thinking and speculating. No such thing will happen under the new prime minister, notwithstanding Mr Abe's political inclinations, said the analysts. For one, everyone, especially the press seems to be confusing Shinzo Abe to a hard core nationalist when this is not the case. Ever since returning to office, the prime minister has made no move that would indicate such.
A truer depiction of the prime minister is someone who is practical and pragmatist. Moreover, his provocative ways seem a thing of the past now, and he is showing some restraint as prime minister.
Mr Abe also knows where Japan stands as of now. The realities of governance and his mandate seem clear to him. The Japanese people have voted him not to become an aggressor or a defender (depending on how you look at it), but to rescue the country's continued economic slide down the abyss. Abenomics is what got him the votes; it would be foolhardy to throw it all away now.