Shinzo Abe’s Grand Arrival

Japan’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has wasted little time in making his mark, particularly in foreign policy. His official visits to China and South Korea – two key countries with which relations suffered under the administration of Junichiro Koizumi – came within a week of his taking office and at a moment of crisis, with North Korea setting off an underground nuclear blast. That Prime Minister Abe and Chinese President Hu Jintao agreed that a North Korean nuclear test “cannot be tolerated” suggests that this new activism may help to stabilize Asian security.