Japan's Abe Looks for Asian Allies to Say No to China

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reviews a guard of honor with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Nov. 16 Photograph by Mak Remissa/EPA

Two of the poorest countries in Asia suddenly were front and center over the weekend in the growing battle for influence between Japan and China. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Laos and Cambodia, the first trip by a Japanese leader to the two Southeast Asian countries since 2000. Abe left with some modest achievements, such as agreements to help fund road, bridge, and rail infrastructure.

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