Just in case anyone is wondering, I do not suddenly have it out for the New Kōmeitō. The party's intentions and actions have just been the fulcrum for a number of recent political developments. Given the abolutely crucial role the two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives plays in the implementation of the government's plans, and the near certainty that no coalition of parties excluding the Democratic Party of Japan will hold a two-thirds majority post-next election, the New Kōmeitō will likely seem to have an aberrant amount of leverage over the Liberal Democratic Party this fall and early next year.
An understanding of the politics behind government decision making over the next few months will depend on ascertaining what it is that the New Kōmeitō probably wants -- such as may be the case in the government's reported abandonment of any attempt to extend the Air Self Defense Forces mission to the Gulf.
3 hours ago