Why Japan's Shinzo Abe Is World's Best Leader

Noah Smith: He's setting an example across all fronts

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 12, 2014 12:43 PM CDT

(Newser) – Quick, name the world's best leader. Some familiar names might flit through your head, but Noah Smith at Bloomberg suggests one that probably didn't: Shinzo Abe of Japan. In his second go-round as prime minister, Abe has shined on everything from the economy to social reforms to foreign policy, writes Smith. In particular, Abe has made the first meaningful strides toward ending the nation's entrenched sexism in the workplace, going beyond rhetoric with tangible policies.

Sure, he's a nationalist who likes to puff up his chest against China, "but recently he has turned his nationalism into something that looks like liberal internationalism, standing up for the various small Asian countries that have been bullied by China’s push into the South China Sea." Compared with previous leaders in Japan, under whom nothing ever seemed to change, Abe is a dynamo. In fact, "Abe is the most effective national leader in the world right now," writes Smith. "I never thought I’d say this, but he’s an example that the rest of the world should be following." Click for his full column.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.   (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
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