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Wednesday’s passage of a record-high spending budget for fiscal 2018 brought closure to a tumultuous first half of this year’s ordinary Diet session that witnessed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s approval rating nosedive to a dangerous level amid an unfolding document-tampering scandal.

With that, the prime minister can now shift his focus to diplomacy — his strong suit — as he prepares for a series of high-profile meetings with world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, as early as next month.

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