The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is an experienced diplomat but he’s been derided for failure in his latest effort in the Middle East.
He has failed to broker peace between America and Iran.
In fact, the situation’s got much worse, almost to the brink of a major conflict.
That’s a blow to Mr Abe’s reputation and a threat to Japan’s energy supply.
You can read about the latest developments in this week’s Japan Story blog.