Shinzo Abe

  • Country: Japan
  • Title: Prime Minister
  • Education: Seikei University, University of Southern California
  • Known For: Abenomics
  • Books: Towards a Beautiful Country: My Vision For Japan (2007)

After serving a brief, undistinguished term as Japan’s prime minister in 2006–7, Shinzo Abe seemed destined for the political sidelines. Then, last December, he surged back into the limelight, retaking office in a landslide victory. The return to power of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) -- which has run Japan for 54 of the last 58 years, including most of the last two “lost decades” -- initially worried investors and pundits. But Abe immediately embarked on an ambitious campaign to revive Japan’s economy, and, some six months later, his efforts seem to be paying off. On the foreign policy front, however, Abe -- known in opposition as a conservative nationalist -- has sparked controversy by seeming to question Japan’s wartime record. In mid-May, as tensions were rising with Japan’s powerful neighbors, he spoke with Foreign Affairs managing editor Jonathan Tepperman in Tokyo.

This is your second tenure as prime

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