Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of Japan, was tragically killed at a campaign event on Friday during his final term before leaving due to health reasons in 2020. Now without him as leader, Japan now remains in despair.
Police quickly apprehended the shooter, yet this incident has caused much consternation in Japan where gun regulations are amongst some of the tightest in the world.
Fumio Kishida, Japan current Prime Minister, stated to journalists that such acts of violence cannot be condoned.
Abe was 67 when he died having served two terms as Japan’s prime minister from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012-20. Even after leaving office he continued to play an influential role within Japan Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) which currently controls Japan.
Table of Contents
Shinzo Abe Economic Legacy
He was shot from behind while campaigning in Nara, southwest Japan, for a parliamentary election. A gunman with what appeared to be homemade weapon fired a round from behind using what looked like homemade bullets from what appeared to be homemade weapons.
Abe can be seen speaking into his microphone while standing when two loud bullets are fired into the room, sounding an alarm.
Hidetada Fukushima, head of Nara Medical University emergency department, claimed that Abe had suffered two neck wounds which ruptured an artery and resulted in significant bleeding; additionally he sustained significant heart damage as well.
According to NHK the suspect spent three years serving Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force between 2000 and 2003.
Worldwide condolences have been sent.
White House officials expressed shock and sadness over Abe’s assassination. Secretary of State Antony Blinken described it as profoundly distressful; Blinken further lauded Abe as an exceptional leader.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Abe as an exceptional statesman and leader and pledged that India will observe a day of national mourning on July 9 in Abe’s honor. On Twitter, Modi declared this.
Vladimir Putin of Russia described Shinzo Abe as an exceptional statesman while former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott simply recognized him as Japan’s “most prominent postwar leader”.
Abe was unable to change the constitution of Japan.
As prime minister Shinzo Abe introduced what became known as Abenomics an economic reform initiative designed to strengthen and restructure Japan while challenging China rising influence.
While Abe was in office, immigration laws were changed and more women entered the workforce; also unexpectedly the Japanese economy resumed strong growth.
Abe and his party ultimately failed in achieving their primary political objective – changing Japan’s pacifist constitution after World War II. His proposed changes would downplay human rights while strengthening government emergency powers; Abe believed some Japanese traditions, like respecting an emperor, clashed with political norms enforced by US-sponsored constitutions.
Abe was successful in passing legislation authorizing Japan’s military to increase its activities abroad in support of allies like the US in 2015.
Abe has criticised China more forcefully in recent months
After his departure from office most Japanese felt that he handled the coronavirus pandemic poorly by moving too slowly to declare an emergency state and act quickly enough due to economic concerns.
Abe has increasingly harshly criticised China in recent month. He recently asked the U.S. to end its long standing policy of strategic ambiguity and make it clear to Taiwan that they can depend on U.S. assistance if China attacks.
China was further upset when their representative to Japan stated that a Taiwan crisis is almost always related to Japan, and hinted that Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of China.