I used to, in private, characterize Prime Minister Abe Shinzo as Japan's George W. Bush: a silver spoon in mouth grandson of privilege elevated to the premiership despite a lack of fundamental appreciation of much but overflowing with a bristling resentment worthy of a rain-soaked porcupine. Certainly his first stint in office was Bush-like, albeit conducted at seven times George W. Bush speed.
The returned Abe Shinzo, transformed by a stint in the political wilderness, is a rather different creature. In his uncharacteristic liberalism in policy after winning a victory over a wounded opposition, and flapping and crass conduct of an election destined to end in a landslide, the U.S. president Abe is emulating now seems to be not Bush fils but rather Richard Milhous Nixon.
Which may explain the odd Pauline Kael Phenomenon we are seeing: huge, crushing poll numbers but little direct anecdotal evidence of anyone rooting for the PM or his party -- outside the former domain of Choshu, possibly.