Speaking at the opening of the current session of Parliament on Jan. 17, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida asserted: “Amid an increasingly severe and complex international situation, this is a year that will test how astute Japanese diplomacy can be.”

He continued: “I will stand at the fore, firmly holding aloft the flag of ideals for the future, and, looking squarely at the actual situation, pursue ‘realism diplomacy for a new era.’” Tellingly, in subsequent weeks the English version of Kishida’s speech underwent some revisions.

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