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Opinion

Abe's Russia trip highlights foreign policy failings

Japan's prime minister struggles for success abroad amid mounting difficulties at home

| Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has returned largely empty-handed from a four-day visit to St. Petersburg and Moscow, including a disappointing summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The meager results of the trip that ended on May 27 are just the most recent setback in a Russia policy that has consistently promised much but delivered little. Abe's failure fits a growing pattern of diplomatic setbacks for a Japanese leader for whom foreign policy -- unusually -- was supposed to be a strength.

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