Professor Takako Hikotani was quoted in an August 29 article in the New York Times titled “Many Want to Be Japan’s New Leader. Do They Know What Awaits Them?” In the article, published shortly after news broke that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to step down from the role due to health issues, outlines the current challenges in store for Japan’s next leader and speculates on Abe’s successor.
Speaking to the Times about Abe’s legacy, Professor Hikotani suggested that his long tenure in office, including a brief term in office as Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007 before he began his current term in 2012, gave him a leg up as Japan’s head of government.
“Mr. Abe had the time to develop diplomatic relationships that had eluded the country during the period of high turnover. That ultimately allowed him to nudge Japan’s allies into trade deals and security partnerships.
‘One of the assets he had was he wasn’t the new face in the summit photo op for presidents and prime ministers’ at international gatherings, said Takako Hikotani, associate professor of political science at Columbia University. ‘That meant a lot.’” the article said.
Click here to read the full article.