The assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe not only came as a tremendous shock to Japan, but it also leaves a tremendous political power vacuum. Although Abe resigned as leader in 2020, he had not only reasserted his role as the champion of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) conservatives, he also formally assumed the leadership of his party’s largest faction.
Meanwhile, as a highly respected global statesman, he enjoyed a bully pulpit through the domestic and international media, a powerful tool to influence Japan’s policy agenda. This was never more clear than in February when he used an appearance on a Sunday talk show to raise the possibility of nuclear weapons sharing with the United States. Over the first nine months of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s tenure, Abe appeared determined to force Kishida to defer to his policy ideas.
The above excerpt was originally published in TIME.
Click here to view the full article.