New Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has only been in office since late September, but already the outlines of his administration are becoming clearer, both in expected and unexpected directions. Abe’s administration is proving to be conservative and revisionist, and even more so than that of his predecessor Junichirō Koizumi. Abe has certainly moved to improve ties with China and South Korea—Beijing and Seoul the October destinations for his first overseas visits within two weeks of taking power—and thereby to limit the damage wrought by Koizumi’s visits to Yasukuni Shrine and bilateral wrangling over Japan’s colonial history. However, the general thrust of Abe’s diplomacy is built upon much of the legacy left by Koizumi, and is attempting to shift it on to a yet more pro-active and assertive path
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