As Japanese election approaches, Shinzo Abe’s legacy on North Korea looms large

This week marks one year since Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, stepped down from office. It also comes as the country’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is set to soon decide the future of its leadership — and likely Japan’s next prime minister — ahead of a nationwide general election.

Foreign policy toward North Korea will likely not be an immediate priority. The LDP, however, aims to appoint a leader who can take the party in a long-term sustainable direction, which means it will inevitably need to address Pyongyang at some point.

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