Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Abe bows to the flag before resigning. Photo: Franck Robichon - Pool/Getty Images

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party will gather in mid-September to elect a successor to Shinzo Abe as its leader and the country’s prime minister.

Driving the news: Abe announced his resignation on Friday due to chronic ulcerative colitis, just days after becoming Japan’s longest-serving prime minister.

  • Favorites to succeed him include Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, an Abe ally, and Shigeru Ishiba, an Abe critic and former defense secretary.

Flashback: Before Abe returned to power in 2012, Japan had shuffled through five prime ministers in as many years.

Data: Gleditsc and Chiozza, 2016, "Archigos — A Data Set on Leaders 1875–2015", Axios research; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The big picture: In his resignation statement, Abe acknowledged his failure to achieve signature promises, including a peace treaty with Russia to secure the return of disputed islands and reform of Japan’s pacifist constitution.

But Abe will perhaps be best remembered for restoring Japan’s status as a major player on the world stage and for strengthening the role of prime minister.

  • He also strengthened Japan’s alliance with the U.S., Michael Auslin writes for Foreign Policy.
  • “It’s been nearly a decade since Washington had to worry about whether a Japanese leader was fully committed to the alliance, could keep a stable parliamentary majority, and had clear plans for making Japan play a role in the world commensurate with its position as the third-largest economy.”
  • That era may be ending.

Editor's note: The above graphic was created in 2019, which is why the tenures of some current leaders (e.g., Boris Johnson) appear so short. See the interactive version.

Go deeper

Nov 23, 2020 - World

NZ's Jacinda Ardern becomes the latest world leader to congratulate Biden

Combination images of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: NZ Prime Minister's Office/Instagram/Joe Raedle/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has become the latest world leader to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden in a phone call, but Russian President Vladimir Putin is still refusing to acknowledge the U.S. election win.

Driving the news: Biden's transition team said in a statement late Sunday he "expressed his intent to strengthen the U.S.-New Zealand partnership" and looked forward to working closely on challenges including containing COVID-19, tackling climate change and "reinforcing multilateralism."

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.