The World in August 24-30

Shinzo Abe resigns as Prime Minister of Japan

The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe(Abe Shinzo, in the native naming convention where the family name appears first), announced his resignation last Friday due to health issues, stating that he is unable to perform his role fully as a result.

The resignation comes in a particularly complicated moment, given the pandemic situation that is still ongoing, including in Japan. Abe leaves part of his government project unfulfilled, having started his role in 2012 after a brief first term in 2006-2007, which came to an end due to the same health reasons, but still making this the longest governing period in modern Japan.

Abe’s term was marked by a phase of economic stagnation, whose recipe was named “Abenomics”. Despite mixed results, the Abe government has been seen as a promoter of stability. In the international field, Japan has been remaking its doctrines and positioning, currently in a process of remilitarization which the end of the 2nd World War had until now made impossible, as well as reorganizing and coordinating strategically, taking into account China’s regional ascendancy.

Greece and Turkey under the spotlight

In the last few weeks, several developments have been making headlines in the Mediterranean involving Greece and Turkey as well as other actors in the region.

The joint military exercises which Greece has been undertaking with Cyprus, France and Italy are seen negatively by Turkey, who has been expanding its influence in the region diplomatically, including in Libya.

In this context, Greece has been increasing the pace of military exercises, this time with the United Arab Emirates, in the region where there were disagreements with Turkey over the exploitation of mineral resources. Also this week, Greece is expected to ratify a maritime agreement with Egypt, something which is seen as a counterbalance to the Turkey-Libya agreement.

Turkey, in turn, had its defense minster meet his British counterpart to discuss the eastern Mediterranean question. Additionally, an agreement for greater cooperation in the defense sector was signed with Ukraine.

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