The death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sent shockwaves of both disbelief and sadness all over the globe, garnering international headlines, with tributes pouring in from both world and thought leaders alike.

While there is plenty of room for debate about how he will be most remembered, it is clear that in the last few months of his life, Abe devoted his political capital to amplify his personal stance on the need for Tokyo to rethink its strategic engagement with Taiwan while supporting Taipei and the cross-strait status quo.

Earlier this year, I had the rare opportunity to interview the late prime minister on Japan-Taiwan relations with Riley Walters from the Hudson Institute. In our co-authored piece, we wrote that no Japanese leader has made greater strides to deepen relations between Japan and Taiwan as much as Abe.