Abe’s Legacy Has More Painful Overtones in China

Chinese soldiers look at photographs of survivors of the Nanjing Massacre at the National Museum of China in Beijing, Aug. 12, 2005 (AP photo by Elizabeth Dalziel).
Chinese soldiers look at photographs of survivors of the Nanjing Massacre at the National Museum of China in Beijing, Aug. 12, 2005 (AP photo by Elizabeth Dalziel).

To prominent Asia watchers and policymakers, making sense of the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has involved going beyond the man himself to reflect on the politics of the Asia he envisioned. In practice, that means that not only has Abe the man been mourned, but his legacy lauded, too. Matt Pottinger, the former White House coordinator for Asia policy under then-U.S. President Donald Trump, summed up the general sentiment in an op-ed that described Abe as having popularized the idea of a “free and open Indo-Pacific” among regional states wary of China’s rise, turning it into a unifying […]

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