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After Abe

Japan's prime minister quits. What does he leave behind?

12:47 PM, Sep 14, 2007 • By DUNCAN CURRIE
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LDP policy chief Nobuteru Ishihara has hinted that a failure to renew the law could prompt an early lower house election. "It might put a little bump in the road in terms of alliance management," says Nicholas Szechenyi, assistant director of the Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Overall, he reckons, the U.S.-Japan alliance is still on sound footing. But it will be on sounder footing if Japanese ships stay in the Indian Ocean.

Duncan Currie is managing editor of The American.