After Abe, what will guide Japan's foreign policy?

Beneath the ‘noise’ of succession race, a key power triangle and LDP factional politics will influence the course ahead

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's announcement last week that he was stepping down from office has triggered not just a succession race but also left questions about the future direction of Japan's foreign policy.

The uncertainty is understandable, given that Mr Abe is leaving on a high note on the international front even if he is under a cloud at home over his government's poor response to the coronavirus crisis and crony corruption scandals. Notably, he is lauded in Asia for having played a central role in salvaging a multilateral free trade agreement after it was ditched by Washington.

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