Nationalistic Abe Elected as Head of Japan’s Opposition LDP

Posted September 26th, 2012 at 2:40 am (UTC-5)
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Japan's tough-talking former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who is calling for a stronger stance against China, has been elected as president of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party.

Mr. Abe defeated ex-defense chief Shigeru Ishiba in a run-off election, Wednesday. The ex-prime minister, who stepped down in 2007 because of a stomach illness, could get another chance to lead Japan if the LDP wins the most seats next election.

He has called for Japan to take a tougher military posture in its dispute with China about a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Mr. Abe's LDP was in power for more than five decades until 2009, when it was defeated by the Democratic Party of Japan. Polls suggest that the LDP would have the edge in a general election, which some say could be held by the end of the year.