As Shinzo Abe’s speechwriter, I had the privilege of spending countless hours talking with the late prime minister — and musing about what was on his mind so I can grasp his ideas, vision and worldview to help communicate them to the people of Japan and to the world.

Abe was a globe-trotter in the truest sense.

With Abe aboard, the Japanese government aircraft flew 1,581,281 kilometers — almost 40 times the circumference of the equator. He visited a total of 176 countries and forged bonds with three successive leaders of the United States, Australia and Britain; two prime ministers of India; as well as strongmen such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — the list goes on.