Shinzo Abe

Japan Inc blindsided by Trump’s Huawei war

Japanese chipmakers were having a rotten enough year before Donald Trump opened another front of his China trade war. Even before Covid-19 wrecked Japan Inc’s 2020, the US president’s tariffs were upending export markets and supply chains. His moves to weaken the dollar were generating…

Japan’s new defense minister a blast from the past

Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has selected Nobuo Kishi as his minister of defense. Kishi is former prime minister Shinzo Abe’s younger brother, adopted by the Kishi family to maintain the line. Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, had a long career as an infamous official…

Suga’s team looks like old wine in a new bottle

Japan’s diminutive new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga certainly does not have the build of a sumo wrestler – and probably does not have the mindset of one, either. That’s a shame because the Japanese brand of politics is crying out for some of the core…

Suga promises continuity when Japan craves change

In the culmination of a leadership shift that has yielded neither surprise nor drama, ex-Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was signed, stamped and sealed as Japan’s new prime minister after a vote in both houses of the Diet on Wednesday. With Suga’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)…

Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe Resigns, Clearing Way for Successor

TOKYO—Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Cabinet resigned, clearing the way for his successor to take over after parliamentary confirmation later Wednesday. Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, announced last month that he was stepping down because of health problems. “I devoted my body and…

Shinzo Abe’s pet bank gets a new Suga daddy

Yoshihide Suga’s first big decision as Japan’s new prime minister is deciding what directive to give the central bank. To be sure, Suga’s to-do list is long and daunting. It includes who gets the plum cabinet jobs, which world leader gets his first phone call…

Suga era comes into view in Japan

In a result that surprised precisely nobody, Yoshihide Suga became the head of Japan’s ruling party on Monday afternoon. Voted in as the new president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Suga is now a virtual shoe-in for prime minister. That will be confirmed after…

How Suga will and won’t change Japan

In Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party leadership race, to be decided on September 14, Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga looks almost certain to become the nation’s next prime minister. Suga, 71, is widely viewed as a “poor boy made good” and noted for his fearsome self-discipline, energetic…

Suga needs to get radical to save Japan

TOKYO – When economists and investors wonder what to expect from Japan’s next leader, they’re not thinking of the front runner in the premiership race that will be decided on Monday, Cabinet Secretary Yoshide Suga. They are really thinking of Haruhiko Kuroda. The Bank of…

Mob war mirrors race for Japan’s next premier

Japanese politics is often viewed as a deadly dull business. And indeed, the race to take over the premiership, following the August 28 resignation announcement of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is not proving to be high drama. However, if one views the leadership race through…

Vietnam, Japan to maintain strategic ties after Abe

As Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, Shinzo Abe has left great diplomatic legacies, one of the most remarkable being bilateral strategic relations between his country and Vietnam. Therefore, his stepping down has many implications for both countries. Nevertheless, given what the two sides have achieved so…

Future of the post-Abe India-Japan partnership

A conventional narrative has often suggested that the China factor is what primarily unites India and Japan at present. Notwithstanding the significance of such an assertion, it is Asia’s geopolitical narrative, geographical closeness and natural political synergy that brings India and Japan together, with China…

What will Japan’s China policy be post-Abe?

Dealing with geography and balancing geopolitics have been two staple factors influencing Japanese foreign policy. Along the same tangent, China’s location as a geographic neighbor and the brewing geopolitical rivalry between Tokyo and Beijing in the maritime domain have served as two episodic aspects of…

Will Japan’s Indo-Pacific activism survive after Abe?

Few world leaders will be as remembered as the outgoing prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, with regards to the debate over the Indo-Pacific region. Above his many accomplishments, Abe has emerged as one of Asia’s most effective leaders in the past decade, contributing to…

Abe will be dearly missed in India

Earth became a lonely planet for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his friend and Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe announced his resignation from office on August 28 and started walking toward the sunset. Abe had been expected to remain on the stage until September next…

Washington will find it misses Abe

The author published this article four years ago, under the headline “Note to Washington: Enjoy Abe while you have him,” and says he “wouldn’t change it much at all” now that Abe has announced his resignation. Note to Washington: Enjoy Abe while you have him…

End of an Abe era for Japan

TOKYO/SEOUL – Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, 65, announced his resignation on Friday. Citing ill health, he told a press conference in Tokyo that as he “cannot make any mistake in terms of important decision making,” he was not “ready to respond to the…

Abe’s demise could make Japan great again

Hard as it might be to imagine now, Shinzo Abe’s departure from the prime minister’s office could actually be great news for Japan’s underperforming economy. This will sound anathema to investors rediscovering Japan since Abe returned to power in December 2012. His encore surprised many…

Japan PM Abe to step down: media

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to resign over health problems, local media reported Friday, in a bombshell development that will end a record-setting tenure with no clear successor yet in place. There was no immediate confirmation of the reports, which came hours before Abe…

Abe biography highlights a political evolution

Shinzo Abe is widely criticized for his right-wing tendencies. But the fact remains that, seven and a half years after he regained the prime minister’s office, Japan stands out as the most stable member of the club of large industrial democracies politically, socially and economically.…

Why US Indo-Pacific strategy will fail

Since Donald Trump was elected to the US presidency, he has expanded the Asia-Pacific region to include the Indian Ocean, renaming the enlarged area “Indo-Pacific” and the Pacific Command as the Indo-Pacific Command, a military theater stretching from the Western US to the Indian Ocean.…

Covid-hit Japan now paying banks to lend

TOKYO – In its decades-long effort to prod financiers to loosen up and lend more to defeat deflation, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) is trying a new tack: incentivizing them with bonuses. Talk about a language that bankers can understand, even in aging, hyper-conservative Japan.…

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