by Linda Sieg, Yuko Yoshikawa and Tetsushi Kajimoto, Reuters:
When ill health and political gridlock forced Shinzo Abe to quit after one dismal year as Japan’s prime minister, his pride was dented and his self-confidence battered.
One thing, however, was intact: his commitment to a controversial conservative agenda centered on rewriting Japan’s constitution. Conservatives see the 1947 pacifist charter, never once altered, as embodying a liberal social order imposed by the U.S. Occupation after Japan’s defeat in World War Two.
“What worries me most now is that because of my resigning, the conservative ideals that the Abe administration raised will fade,” Abe wrote in the magazine Bungei Shunju after abruptly quitting in September 2007. “From now on, I want to sacrifice myself as one lawmaker to make true conservatism take root in Japan.”
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