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Showing posts with the label #EU

Japan, China, and the Western Balkans

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Why Shinzo Abe Visited Serbia The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe greeted by the Serbian President, Alexander Vucic on January 16, 2018 On January 17, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrapped up a five-day trip to northern and southeastern Europe. After visiting Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, he went to Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania. His trip to the Baltic and the Balkan regions fits within Tokyo’s decades-long attempts to establish itself as a global economic and political leader, and to increase its sphere of influence via the use of soft power and the employment of its financial prowess as a diplomatic lever. On his Balkan leg of the trip, a few points require attention. The least important one, but also perhaps the most entertaining, was Abe’s visit to Romania, which would have been a boring diplomatic success for both sides complete with even more boring press communiques — had the Romanian prime minister, Mihai Tudose, not resigned the night before Abe’s a