Japan Is the New Leader of Asia’s Liberal Order

Chang Che, Foreign Affairs |

Photo by David Edelstein on Unsplash

Over the last decade, and especially over the last four years, Japan has emerged as a quiet leader in the Indo-Pacific. While the United States abandoned its allies and succumbed to illiberal populism under President Donald Trump, Japan remained a stalwart of the liberal, rules-based international order. It deepened ties with its neighbors, expanded multilateral initiatives, and set the regional agenda on trade and digital governance, among other issues. Through a combination of good timing, clear-eyed leadership, and innovative domestic reform, the island nation has proved not only a reliable partner to the United States and its allies in the Indo-Pacific but an architect of the region’s emerging liberal order.


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