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Book review: Shinzo Abe's sudden resignation leaves a legacy unfinished

New biography traces the conservative roots of Japan's longest-serving prime minister

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leaves a press conference in Tokyo on Aug. 28 after announcing his decision to step down due to a chronic health problem.

While Shinzo Abe has overtaken his great-uncle (Eisaku Sato, 2,798 days) as the longest consecutive serving prime minister, as the world now knows, a chronic intestinal disease has finally forced his resignation.

As prime minister in both the Heisei and Reiwa eras, Abe has attracted global attention for his revisionist attitude toward Japan's long-standing foreign and security policy established since the Second World War. Experts of Japanese politics have noted Abe's negative view of Japan's postwar institutions that inhibited Japan's independence and advanced what Abe sees as a masochistic view of Japan's past.

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