Japan’s Suga Aims to Build on Abe’s Diplomatic Legacy. But Will That Be Enough?

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, Oct. 19, 2020 (AP photo by Minh Hoang).
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, Oct. 19, 2020 (AP photo by Minh Hoang).
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When Abe Shinzo abruptly announced he was stepping down as prime minister this summer due to health concerns, it marked an important turning point for Japan’s position on the world stage. The longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history, Abe began his second term in 2012, guiding the country through a period of global turmoil while maintaining a rigorous travel schedule. He championed multilateralism, free trade and a rules-based order at a time when many other countries were being buffeted by great-power politics and the rise of authoritarian populism. And while Abe’s ambitious foreign policy agenda often missed its mark, he […]

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