Just under four months ago, the politician described as the “most pro-Chinese” in Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was sitting pretty.

Fresh from hosting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in November, Toshihiro Nikai – the secretary general of the unassailable LDP and head of the largest and most powerful faction in the party – had just finessed the appointment of Yoshihide Suga as prime minister, making him the undisputed kingmaker of the Diet.

Suga has since made a number of…


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