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Shinzo Abe

Abe forged unique conservative path for Japan in Asia diplomacy

Slain former prime minister parlayed savvy to reset China and South Korea relations

Shinzo Abe's second run as Japan's prime minister was marked by his conservative ideology as well as his pragmatism both in domestic and international affairs. (Photo by Masaru Shioyama)

TOKYO -- A political era closed with Shinzo Abe's assassination on Friday, marked by a diplomatic legacy that struck a balance between his conservative ideology and pragmatism.

As a junior lawmaker in the Liberal Democratic Party, Abe had opposed the adoption of single-seat constituencies for Japan's lower house elections. Multi-seat districts had provided opportunities for active policy discussions within the party. He saw the shift to single seats as not only limiting the choice of candidates for voters, but also leading to political stasis.

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