A time for Japan to blossom

Beyond the impending Suga-Biden meet-up, this quiet achiever is ripe to take on a bigger role in key regional issues

While Japan often keeps a lower profile than the US and China, it is well positioned to be a significant player in a number of key regional issues. PHOTO: REUTERS
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Winter has not been easy for Japan. In these past months, pandemic numbers have been rising. The Tokyo Olympics have been a particular source of angst, even with the compromise of going ahead without an international audience. Last month, the 10th anniversary of the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radioactivity was solemnly marked.

Since taking over as prime minister in September last year, Mr Yoshihide Suga has seen his approval ratings fall sharply - in February, they were below 40 per cent. There are questions whether Japan will have a durable government, like the preceding Abe government where Mr Suga played a key role, or return to the years of short-lived Cabinets and revolving-door ministers.

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