world news How Shinzo Abe’s exit could threaten regional stability and Japan’s alliance with the US (Opinion)
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Abe, who recently became Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was a source of stability in the region. Although his nationalist sympathies sometimes drew negative attention — his 2013 visit to a controversial shrine that is often considered a symbol of Japan’s imperial military past offended China, South Korea and “disappointed” the United States — Abe was a committed multilateralist who tirelessly pushed for a rules-based international order.
The year 2020 continues to throw curveballs at the world, and Abe’s resignation may pale in comparison to a global pandemic and a looming economic crisis. While Abe’s departure may not seem immediately alarming, it poses a serious challenge to the stability of the region, given China’s dominance. While we don’t know who the next leader of Japan will be, we can only hope that he is as committed to the alliance with the US as Abe has been.