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The 2020 presidential election in the United States will likely be one of the most consequential in our lifetime — and Japan, as a key ally of the U.S., is paying very close attention.

U.S. presidential races are always of significant international interest, but given the current polarization and global unrest, the stakes have never felt higher for Tokyo. Given the rise of domestic political uncertainty in Japan, previous arguments positing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the only Japanese leader capable of managing U.S. President Donald Trump, or Republicans as traditionally being “better” for Japan, have become moot.

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