Two years have passed since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won Japan’s last general elections with a landslide. Abe, so it seems, is firmly in the saddle to lead the world’s third biggest economy. To be sure, the years ahead will be testing Abe’s leadership skills. He will be confronted with an increasingly assertive China challenging Asia’s maritime territorial boundaries in the East and South China Seas and with a new U.S. President, who on the campaign trail announced to want (much) more from Japan in terms of burden–sharing for Asian security. In the meantime the Japanese economy – thanks to the Bank of Japan’s massive quantitative easing, fiscal stimulus packages and structural reforms (so–called ’Abenomics’) – seems to be on track towards achieving (relatively) stable and solid economic growth rates. Despite founded doubts about the medium-to-long term sustainability of ’Abenomics’ in a country burdened by a public debt amounting to 250% of GDP, years and indeed decades of Japanese economic stagnation seem to be a thing of the past. Finally, Japan and Europe have big plans as regards cooperation in international politics and security. If all goes to plan, later in 2017 Brussels and Tokyo will adopt the long-awaited EU–Japan ’Strategic Partnership Agreement’, through which they could further expand and intensify their already existing on the ground non-military security cooperation.