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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Election campaigning underway in Japan as Abe takes on Hope

TOKYO: Election campaigning in Japan began in earnest on Tuesday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeking to repel an upstart new party that has pledged to rid the government of cronyism in a challenge to Abe’s near-five year hold on power. The Oct. 22 lower house election pits Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition against the less than one-month-old Party of Hope headed by popular Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, a former LDP lawmaker often floated as a possible first female premier. Abe says he needs to renew his…

Snubs, harsh words at Asia security meet as U.S. and Japan rile China

SINGAPORE: When Japan's defense minister greeted the deputy chief of staff of China's army at a regional security forum this weekend, he was undiplomatically snubbed. Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong said he was incensed by comments from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe implicitly holding China responsible for territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas and later by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's accusations that Beijing was destabilizing the region. "When Mr Abe spoke just now, there was veiled…