In the year since former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated as he campaigned on a Nara street corner, Japan has undergone a number of monumental shifts in its approach to security and foreign policy, cementing the late leader’s legacy.

From the December adoption of three new security documents, including a new National Security Strategy that outlines audacious plans for a “counterstike capability,” to the passage of a budget in March seeking to double defense spending by 2027, nominally pacifist Japan has undergone a dramatic transformation.

Much of the credit for this — for better or worse — goes to Abe, who played a significant role in laying the foundation for his successors to see his vision come to fruition. But Abe’s mark on the country, including key diplomatic shortcomings, is far more indelible, with its impact likely to be felt long into the future, observers say.