The Presidential Daily Brief

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    How North Korea Is Militarizing Japan

    He’s playing the long game. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may be the most hawkish leader in Japan’s postwar era, but when it comes to dealing with North Korea, he’s armed with little more than tough talk. Yet the Japanese people’s growing fear of their belligerent neighbor has served one key policy aim of Abe’s right-wing government: “normalizing” the militarization of the constitutionally pacifist state. Since Abe’s been in charge, there’s been an annual increase in Japan’s Self-Defense Forces budget, meaning North Korea may be helping rearm its historic rival to the east.

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