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Japan today is arguably better placed to expand its role on the global stage than at any time in its postwar history. This is largely thanks to the personal leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is serving an unprecedented third term as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and will soon become the longest-serving prime minister in modern Japanese history.

Another factor of unusual continuity and stability for Japan is its monarchy, the world’s oldest. It has been in the spotlight recently with the abdication of now-Emperor Emeritus Akihito and the end of the Heisei Era under his reign, paving the way for the enthronement of his son, Emperor Naruhito, and the new Reiwa Era. The Group of 20 meeting next month in Osaka and the Tokyo Olympics next year are two more events attracting international attention. The question is, what will Japan do with its global moment?

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