Premier Japonii Abe Shinzō jako światowy przywódca Wolnego i Otwartego Indo-Pacyfiku

Beata Bochorodycz

Abstrakt

Prime Minister of Japan, as the global leader of Free and Open Indo-Pacific

This article attempts to summarize the debate on the legacy of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō (1954–2022) and to assess his impact on state policy, with a particular focus on foreign policy. Abe was assassinated on July 8, 2022, during an electoral campaign two days before the elections to the lower house of parliament. His death helped to secure the majority for the ruling Liberal-Democratic Party, but also sent a wave of shock and disbelief, as Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, while Abe was one of the most prominent and influential politicians. But the former prime minister was also a controversial figure due to both his decisive style of leadership as well the scope and depth of policy initiatives that he undertook during the two terms in office in 2006–2007 and 2012–2020, which often crossed the boundaries of what is acceptable in Japanese political discourse. Many of these reforms had been initiated much earlier, but it was Abe who gave them catchy names and interpretative frameworks, including, for example, Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). The article concludes that while the assessments of the domestic reforms are divided, the evaluations of his achievements in the field of foreign policy and political leadership receive, generally, the highest scores. Moreover, the article suggests that the political vacuum left by Abe’s death constitutes both an opportunity and a challenge for the incumbent Prime Minister Kishida Fumio.

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