My latest article … a brief analysis of a few reasons why political parties aside from Japan’s (ostensibly dominant) Liberal Democratic Party matter for understanding Japan’s security policy trajectory … has […]
To conclude that widespread narratives exaggerate Abe’s individual impact is not to deny his agency or influence. Abe altered Japan’s image as a nation plagued by frequent leadership turnover and struggling to exercise international leadership. He accelerated important institutional reforms, and his busy diplomatic schedule and active management of the foreign
policy apparatus reflected a clear desire to enhance Japan’s international stature. Undoubtedly, Abe left office in 2020 with a list of foreign policy accomplishments.
However, his track record also demonstrates that there are
clear limits on the ability of a Japanese leader to fundamentally transform the country’s foreign policy. To exaggerate the individual significance of any prime minister is to risk overlooking the other, sometimes larger forces reshaping Japan’s foreign policy trajectory—forces that will remain important even now that Abe has passed the baton to his successors.
My latest peer-reviewed article … an analysis of the puzzling durability of Japan’s LDP-Komeito ruling coalition, its theoretical significance, and its practical implications for Japanese politics and foreign policy … is now available […]