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How Shinzo Abe Changed Japan

Following the assassination of Shinzo Abe, Tobias Harris writes on the life and career of the former Japanese prime minister.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s career should have ended in September 2007. Forced to resign only one year into his term as prime minister after leading his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to an ignominious defeat in upper house elections in July 2007, Abe himself seemed to share the widely held view that his once-promising political career was over.

But five years later, he would be back on top of the LDP, setting the stage for a dramatic and unlikely return to the premiership in December 2012. He would finally leave office in September 2020 after a record-setting seven years and eight months as prime minister, after which he would begin the third act of his career, where his leadership of the LDP’s largest faction and his reputation as a leading global statesman gave him extraordinary power to influence the direction of the Japanese government.

The above excerpt was originally published in Foreign Policy. Click here to view the full article.

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Tobias Harris

Former Senior Fellow

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