Japanese Prime Minister Abe's Resignation and the U.S.-Japan Alliance [September 8, 2020] [open pdf - 599KB]
From the Introduction: "On August 28, 2020, after weeks of rumors in the press, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that he would resign due to the resurgence of a chronic health condition. Abe, the longest-serving premier in modern Japanese history, had been in power since 2012, bringing unusual stability to Japanese politics and foreign policy. During his tenure, he expanded Japan's military and diplomatic capabilities and championed the U.S.-Japan alliance by, among other steps, aligning bilateral security policy and integrating military operations more tightly. Abe forged a personal relationship with President Trump to further Japan's interests, succeeding in convincing Trump to adopt Abe's vision of the Indo-Pacific strategy. He also avoided a contentious trade fight over autos while concluding a limited trade agreement that covers about 5% of bilateral trade flows. However, the warm rapport between the two leaders was insufficient to persuade Trump to remain in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement or support Japan's priorities in dealing with North Korea. While Abe received praise for strengthening the U.S.-Japan military partnership, some observers see indications of cracks that have developed, particularly in the areas of cost-sharing and joint weapons deployments that will almost immediately create challenges for Abe's successor."
CRS In Focus, IF11644
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/