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Abe's 'Indo-Pacific' legacy forces Suga to walk a fine line

New Japan PM faces challenge of long-term thinking rather than staying the course

New Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has inherited his predecessor's "Confluence of the Two Seas" approach to counter China's advances from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean. (Source photo by AP) 

BANGKOK -- At his first press conference as Japan's new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga vowed to "strategically advance the 'free and open Indo-Pacific' concept to protect our nation's interests."

To read the outlook for Suga's diplomacy, it is necessary to understand the evolution of this concept that he has pledged to carry on. It is the product of great pains to taken to deal with both the U.S. and China under his predecessor Shinzo Abe.

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