“Their eyes fixed on the ballots to be counted starting Nov. 3,” wrote Sylvie Kauffmann of Le Monde for The New York Times, “Western European leaders are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.” Alas, here in Tokyo, there are quite similar concerns being expressed, although from a different perspective.

Concerns were also heightened on the news of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Trump administration will promptly nominate her successor — another woman — but this time a conservative jurist. Although the Senate may not confirm the next justice before the election, the vacancy may give Donald Trump more momentum than Joe Biden.

Is the rest of the world really prepared for the worst? If the incumbent U.S. president is re-elected, the West may have to restore, without the United States, the status lost by the Group of Seven, NATO and the Washington, Tokyo, and Seoul alliances.