Seven years ago on Wall Street, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged investors to "buy my Abenomics," promising to chart a path to growth for deflation-mired Japan.

Fast forward to 2020, and Abe — now Japan’s longest-serving prime minister — is quitting due to ill health, leaving an economy that is smaller, badly hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic and with more debt than when he returned to power in 2012.

Whoever gets what some lawmakers call "the short straw" in the ruling party's leadership race in mid-September, the next prime minister may face difficulty trying to gain market confidence in post-Abenomics Japan, according to market observers.