The political status quo was upended worldwide in 2020, and Japan was no exception, with Shinzo Abe resigning as prime minister to bring his nearly eight-year tenure to an end, passing the baton to his loyal confidant Yoshihide Suga.

But don't expect 2021 to be a quieter year in the political epicenter of Nagatacho. If anything, more drama is likely on the way.

The next Liberal Democratic Party leadership contest is slated for September and, as Suga is serving the remaining period of Abe’s third term, he needs to again win the party’s confidence to establish himself as a long-term leader. Adding more potential drama to the mix, terms for Lower House members will expire the following month.