There is nothing really new about Hashimoto's rhetoric, nor his brash and vitriolic style. Third party candidates have always come and go, from all sides of the political spectrum, and rarely have they received the kind of media attention as Hashimoto. In the 1990's, Takako Doi, perhaps the antithesis of Hashimoto, was one of Japan's most popular politicians. She wasn't a member of Japan's political elite, she wasn't labeled a fascist, she wasn't nearly as controversial, and she received a fraction of the media attention; yet, she was able to lead her party to take 132 seats in the diet. There is nothing new about Hashimoto, except for his constant media attention shaping him into the only alternative to the status quo. What is new about Hashimoto, is his unusually long record of disregarding the law and the constitution--though he is supposed to be a lawyer. Not even his calls for an offensive military are new--just mostly ignored by a majority of the population in the past. Again, he is supposed to be a lawyer, but perhaps what is really new about Hashimoto is his brazen willingness to remove Japan's largest source of checks and balances, the upper house, or essentially reduce the Constitution to statutory law by making it amendable by simple majority vote.
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