Japan goes to the polls amid war fears

Over the past two weeks, Japan’s political life has moved from the parliament, party headquarters and government cabinets to the railway stations and commercial quarters. In these crowded places, people could routinely meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and even shake hands with him.

Representatives from all parties are sounding off their inflammatory speeches from campaign buses in the run-up to the October 22 general election to the country’s key lower house of parliament.

Abe had an option to put off the election until December next year, but he decided to gamble. Consequently, his hand was seriously weakened by the scandals linked to his alleged support for his friends in their commercial activities. Although corruption schemes were not corroborated, an unpleasant feeling still lingers in the air. Any delay until December 2018 was fraught with plunging public support, so the prime minister decided to drastically change the political climate in the country.