News analysis

China's rise under President Xi unnerves neighbours; Abe's stable tenure boosts confidence

While China's rise under President Xi Jinping's watch has shifted public perception downwards, particularly in Asia-Pacific, half of those polled in Asia by Pew Research Center said they had confidence in Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS
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Dr Yasushi Watanabe, an expert in public diplomacy at Keio University, points to Mr Abe's wide recognition internationally; he is Japan's longest-serving prime minister, having held office since 2012.

"Prime Minister Abe has put a lot of his time and energy in diplomacy. I have never seen a Japanese prime minister who travels all around the world. This is coupled with recent special occasions such as G20, World Rugby Cup and the Imperial Ascension," he said.

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