Abe’s penchant for thinking big has helped shape the Indo-Pacific.

Widely seen as the architect of the “quad” – a four-nation strategic consultation framework involving the U.S., Australia, Japan, and India – Abe’s tenure saw Tokyo cultivate deep relations with New Delhi.

Abe’s resignation comes amid a growing debate in Japan around the extent to which the country should arm itself, given Japan’s post-World War II pacifist tradition.

In an article rich with strategic ideation, he wrote: “I envisage a strategy whereby Australia, India, Japan, and the US state of Hawaii form a diamond to safeguard the maritime commons stretching from the Indian Ocean region to the western Pacific.” Over the last couple of years, the quad has emerged as a key consultative mechanism to triangulate emerging challenges in the Indo-Pacific.

In order to give shape to this idea, Japan and India committed to develop a maritime Asia-Africa Growth Corridor in 2016 as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative even when Japan continued to shrewdly hedge its bets when it came to the BRI.

India – and especially the country’s current Prime Minister Narendra Modi – had found a vital partner in Shinzo Abe’s Japan.

This article was written by  Abhijnan Rej

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