Does assassination of Shinzo Abe signal strategic shift for Japan?

It seems increasingly clear that more than any particular policy achievement, Abe’s greatest legacy was a more substantial global leadership for Japan and peace with Russia and China.

One focus of Abe’s foreign policy was to secure a treaty with Russia on their territorial dispute. Abe had pursued this initiative even after some of his closest foreign policy advisers tried to scupper his efforts. The operation in Ukraine gave current PM Kishida Fumio room to join US sanctions targeting Moscow – marking a changed course from Abe’s foreign policy legacy.

Japan had been happy to offer economic concessions on the disputed islands in the Kurils, but Kishida – even before the Ukraine crisis – had abandoned Abe’s Russia policy. There is little question that Abe’s diplomatic initiative was stymied by his successors, particularly given that the goal was ultimately strategic: to forge a friendship with Russia that would stabilize Japan’s northern flank.

Ironically, Abe often spoke throughout his career about revising the Japanese Constitution to give the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) greater room to expand. On Friday, he was murdered in cold blood by an alleged member of the Self-Defense Forces.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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