Shinzo Abe is the Prime Minister of Japan. He is the third-longest serving Prime Minister in post-war Japan. Abe comes from a politically prominent family and was elected by a special session of the National Diet in September 2006, becoming at age 52 Japan’s youngest post-war prime minister, and the first to have been born after World War II.
Abe is a conservative whom political commentators have widely described as a right-wing nationalist. He is a member of the revisionist Nippon Kaigi and holds revisionist views on Japanese history.
He is considered a hard-liner with respect to North Korea, and advocates revising Article 9 of the pacifist constitution to permit Japan to maintain military forces. Abe is known internationally for his government’s economic policies, nicknamed Abenomics, which pursue monetary easing, fiscal stimulus, and structural reforms.
With more than 1000 Japanese companies operating out of Britain, Japan has become influential in the Brexit process. Nissan, Hitachi and Toyota are examples of Japanese companies which use the UK as an entry point for the rest of Europe.
With Britain exiting the EU, these companies have been speculating on a move away from London to set up shop elsewhere in Europe, taking thousands of jobs and millions of pounds in revenue with them. Shinzo Abe met with Theresa May to seek “assurances” for the Japanese companies.
It is not known what these “assurances” were, but at the end of the talks Abe said he had been assured by PM May. Britain is looking to establish a trade deal with Japan as a part of its ‘look east’ policy after Brexit.