Photo/IllutrationU.S. President Donald Trump, right, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands at a summit meeting in New York on Sept. 21. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is poised to press ahead in his hard-line approaches to foreign and security policies with renewed confidence in light of the Liberal Democratic Party’s resounding victory in the Lower House election on Oct. 22.

Discussing the North Korean situation during Radio Nippon Co.'s news program that night, Abe said, “I will firmly apply more pressure and create a situation in which North Korea could say, ‘We will change our policy, so why don’t we discuss it?’”

“For that purpose, we need strong diplomatic power,” Abe added.

Two important summits are scheduled for November, starting with U.S. President Donald Trump’s first visit to Japan, on Nov. 5-7.

Abe repeatedly trumpeted his close relationship with Trump in the Lower House election campaign, and he plans to use the upcoming meeting as an opportunity to strengthen Japan-U.S. ties, appealing to Japan and the world.

In mid-November, a meeting between Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to take place at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.

Abe is likely to place more emphasis on cooperation with Russia and China, who have influence over North Korea, in a bid to deal with the isolated nation’s nuclear weapons and missile crisis.

Another subject to broach with Russia is whether to present a detailed road map for resolving the long-standing Northern Territories dispute, which dates to the end of World War II.

Moves toward improving the relationship with China are also being mulled. Abe wants to realize his ambition to visit China in 2018, and for Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Japan.

Key priorities regarding China are whether to proceed with Foreign Minister Taro Kono’s planned visit to the nation, and to host a summit meeting with China and South Korea in Tokyo in December.

While applying stronger pressure to North Korea via diplomatic channels, the Japanese government also plans to further enhance its ballistic missile defense system.

The outline of a new defense plan is set to be formulated by the end of 2018, along with the midterm defense buildup program. The center of attention will be to what extent the missile defense system will be bolstered, including a land-based Aegis Ashore missile interceptor system.

The Japanese government will also possibly accelerate plans to consider acquiring the capability to attack enemy bases, based on the outcome of a ruling party panel.