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ARCHIVED Shinzo Abe and his Legacy: a discussion with Tobias Harris and Keiko Iizuka

Tuesday 1 September 2020 / 1:00pm
Shinzo Abe and his Legacy: a discussion with Tobias Harris and Keiko Iizuka

Tuesday 1 September 2020
1.00pm to 2.00pm (BST)

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Following Prime Minister Abe's announcement of his resignation, Japan Society Chairman Bill Emmott is joined by Tobias Harris, author of a new biography 'The Iconoclast: Shinzo Abe and the New Japan', and Keiko Iizuka, senior political writer at the Yomiuri Shimbun, to assess the legacy of Japan's longest-serving prime minister and cast an eye to the future.

Since becoming leader of the Liberal Democratic Party for the second time in 2012, Shinzo Abe has led his party to victory in three Lower House elections and three Upper House elections. He has become widely recognised on the world stage, given rise to the much-heralded "Abenomics" policies, and navigated a close relationship with Donald Trump. He has failed to achieve his ambition to revise the 1947 constitution and leaves with Japan facing tough economic and foreign policy challenges. So what will be the lasting legacies of his premiership?

As Japan, and the wider world, begins to consider who might succeed Mr Abe as president of the LDP until September 2021, what do we know about those lining up to be considered? And what qualities will they need to handle the pressing issues with which they will be faced in the coming year? Is the LDP likely to elect an interim leader, or choose someone for the long term?

Tobias Harris is Executive Vice President and Japan analyst in Washington, DC, for Teneo Intelligence. He is an expert on Japanese politics, and worked in 2006-2007 on the staff of Keiichiro Asao, at that time a member of the upper house of the Japanese Diet and shadow foreign minister for the Democratic Party of Japan, for whom he conducted research on foreign policy and Japan’s relations with the United States. He is also the Fellow for Economy, Trade, and Business at Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA.

He has written about Japanese politics for publications including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs and regularly provides on-air analysis for CNBC, Bloomberg, and other networks. His biography 'The Iconoclast: Shinzo Abe and the New Japan' was published by Hurst on 27 August and is reviewed by Bill Emmott for the Japan Society here.

Keiko Iizuka is Senior Political Writer at The Yomiuri Shimbun and lead commentator for the nightly news program “News in Depth (Shinso News)” on the BS4 channel.

Her expertise is international relations specially focusing on Asia-Pacific, Japan-U.S. relations, and European affairs. She was a London Correspondent from 2003 to 2006, covering British politics, the Iraq War, and various political and security related news topics. She covered the Iraq War as a reporter embedded with the British Forces.

Between 2017 and 2019 she was based in London as senior political writer, covering European affairs, and has held several other positions at the paper including chief editor for international news (2015-2017), Washington Bureau Chief (2013-2015) and chief political correspondent at the Prime Minister’s office (2006-2007).