Abe's successor has a tough act to follow

One of the key tasks is to keep up and build on the good will and strong link in South-east Asia.

The 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue saw Mr Shinzo Abe, Japan's Prime Minister, making his mark. Then, expectations were high that he would address China's maritime adventurism in the South China Sea.

He did not disappoint. In his keynote speech, Mr Abe made clear that disputant states must adhere to three overarching principles with regard to the "rule of law at sea": adherence to international law, restraint in the use of coercion and/or force, and settling territorial disputes peacefully.

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