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     Feb 13, '14

Abe tunes up to militant beat
By Nancy Snow

It was a Thursday in Tokyo, the day after Christmas - what is known in some countries as Boxing Day. This time of year in late December is associated with the spreading of good cheer and happiness. Though Japan is not a strongly religious country and certainly not a Christian nation, the Japanese love an excuse to look at sparkling tree lights and become shopaholics as much as anyone.

But on this Boxing Day after Christmas, all that good cheer had

dissipated. It gave way not so much to the end-of-year tradition of boxing up as to the feeling of being boxed in.

Boxing Day 2013 turned out to be the release date for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new album, Abe Road. The album contains such singles as Come Apart, He Came in through the War Shrine Gate, and Japan Sun King. The music is a mixture of traditional folk tunes, war chants, and heavy metal with a testosterone-pumping bass. Critical response to Abe Road has been harsh, particularly from traditional Northeast Asia rivals like China and South Korea, which recoil at Japan?s aggressive war past, but also from Japanophiles like me who oppose the country's new mano y mano political posture. More ...

(Used with permission from Foreign Policy In Focus)




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