Like most other countries, Japan watched the events of Jan. 6 in Washington with shock and bewilderment.

Most Japanese observers will be glad to see the end of the Trump administration after four years of erratic and turbulent policies toward the Asia-Pacific region and the world. Yet there is still a strong undercurrent of nostalgia for some of the more combative elements of the Trump administration among a swath of both Japan officialdom and the public, coupled with fear of a weaker Biden one.

This favorable view of Trump’s policy combined with pessimism about Biden as it relates to Japan is both unfounded and misguided for three reasons: a changing national narrative of Japan’s interests in the world promoted by Japan’s leadership, a superficial and largely erroneous understanding of the Obama administration’s foreign policy and an overly charitable assessment of Trump’s policies and actions in the region.