Shinzo Abe’s Departure Throws Wrench Into U.S.-Japan Ties
Shinzo Abe, current Prime Minister of Japan who will soon step down due to health concerns, had formed close ties with US President Trump and former President Obama throughout his time in office, working to improve US-Japan relations. The loss of Abe in the international relations sphere could mean new difficulties for US-Japan ties. Abe drove US-Japan relations for almost eight years, and his removal from office may pose one of the biggest risks to international relations this year as allies continue to tackle Chinese military expansion.
Abe also will be stepping down from office at a critical time for Hong Kong as it struggles to adapt to restrictive and unfair new security laws imposed on the area by Chinese authorities. Abe’s resignation also comes as an agreement between Japan and the US to share the cost of US troops stationed in Tokyo. One of Abe’s aides, Yoshihide Suga, was named as the front-runner to Abe’s succession on Tuesday.