Japan's Abe bumped off Time 100 by novelist, professional organiser

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Shinzo Abe no longer ranks among the world's most influential leaders, according to Time Magazine. The prime minister isn't even the most influential Japanese.

Abe lost his spot even as Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un, North Korea's Dear Leader, remained on the TIME 100. Abe was the only Japanese representative in 2014, while this year there are two: novelist Haruki Murakami and Marie Kondo, a professional organiser.

Murakami, whose novels include Norwegian Wood and Kafka On The Shore, last year published his first original English-language work: The Strange Library. Kondo has already published four books in Japan on clearing clutter from people's lives and the first English translation - The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up - was released in the US in October, becoming a New York Times bestseller.

Abe captured international imaginations in late 2013 when he pledged policies that would end decades of stagnation in the world's third-largest economy. He has since struggled to make progress on promised structural reforms.

His influence could wax again this month when he becomes the first Japanese leader to address a joint meeting of Congress, amid final negotiations on a free-trade deal that would help curb China's economic clout in Asia.

Xi has been on Time's list for three years since becoming China's president in November 2012. North Korea's Kim has also been selected for the past three years.

US President Barack Obama was included for a record- extending 10th time, making the list every year but one since 2005.