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Takashi Osato for TIME

If Japan wanted to tell the world it was going to stage an economic comeback, electing Shinzo Abe Prime Minister might have been the best way to do it. Largely written off in 2007 when he abruptly resigned because of debilitating illness after just 365 days in office, Abe fought his way back. He reclaimed voters’ confidence and went to work designing a bold set of strategies — now known as Abenomics — to jolt Japan out of its decades-long economic doldrums.

Abe’s policies were designed to defeat deflation, ignite consumer spending and restore economic dynamism, and after only 20 months, the Japanese people have reason to believe a lasting recovery is finally in sight. His ultimate success depends on still unfinished business: a trans-Pacific trade deal and other structural reforms to ensure sustained, long-term domestic-demand growth.

Lew is the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

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