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SnapshotsAug 28, 2020 | 20:37 GMT
In Japan, a Post-Abe Era Emerges Sooner Than Expected
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's shock resignation risks returning Japan to a cycle of short-lived administrations, which is unlikely to yield major shifts in domestic or foreign policy. On Aug. 28, after weeks of speculation over his health, Abe announced that he will be resigning from his post once the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) chooses a replacement. In addition to the LDP, Abe himself will also partially determine the succession process, meaning his successor will adhere to the party's long-term policy objectives. But even if secure in their post, Japan's next prime minister will find it difficult to muster the level of power Abe has accrued over his nearly eight years in office and tight control over the Japanese government, which enabled him to go head-to-head with key counterparts abroad. Abe's personal political clout also outmatched that of previous political leaders, which allowed him to bypass internal LDP factions and
AssessmentsJan 22, 2019 | 15:13 GMT
The meeting Jan. 22 between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will mark their 25th since Abe assumed power in 2012.
The Odds Appear Stacked Against Abe's Dreams of a Russian Treaty
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in Moscow for his 25th meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin since 2012, this time carrying fresh hope that long-standing issues lingering between the countries since the end of World War II might finally be resolved. More than seven decades after the conflict concluded, Russia and Japan remain technically at war, and signing a lasting peace treaty remains near the top of Abe's to-do list. Those talks, which are set to get underway Jan. 22, are expected to include negotiation over the status of the archipelago that stretches between Japan's northernmost Hokkaido Prefecture and Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, another issue that has long simmered between the countries.
AssessmentsFeb 13, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
An F-35B aircraft approaches a KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft to refuel in 2016.
Japan and South Korea Consider Carrier Options
With the seas heating up around them, Tokyo and Seoul are considering their next moves. Accelerating geopolitical trends, from the Chinese navy's continued development to North Korea's nuclear program, are driving Japan and South Korea, two key naval powers in the Western Pacific, to evaluate plans for the development of aircraft carriers. However, both appear to be pursuing a more restricted strategy because of their limited military budgets and -- in Japan’s case -- the constraints imposed by history. Nevertheless, their serious consideration of this naval expansion attests to the heated maritime competition in the region.
SnapshotsSep 28, 2017 | 18:19 GMT
Japan: Opposition Forces Move to Unify, Threatening the Ruling Party
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's snap election gamble is getting risky. By calling the Oct. 22 vote and dissolving the lower house, he appeared poised to catch the divided opposition on the back foot. But things have changed and the biggest challenger to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the newly formed conservative Hope Party, gained a major advantage Sept. 28. On the same day that Abe dissolved the lower house, the main opposition Democratic Party declared that it would not run any candidates in the upcoming polls and instead urged its 88 lawmakers to either join the Hope Party or run as independents.
SnapshotsSep 25, 2017 | 19:36 GMT
Japan: Prime Minister Plans to Dissolve Lower House, Hold Snap Elections
With his approval ratings having rebounded and the political opposition in disarray, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to strike while the iron is hot -- officially announcing plans to dissolve the Lower House of the Diet on Sept. 28 and hold snap elections on Oct. 22. Abe's window to call elections has gradually been closing and he may be betting that this is his last best chance to hold them. Lower House terms expire in December 2018 and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership elections loom in the preceding September. Abe will need to hold a strong political position if he hopes to secure a third term as head of the party and to pursue his ambitious constitutional reform agenda, aimed at providing the legal architecture for Japan's military renormalization, potentially revising the longstanding pacifist Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.
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