Shinzo Abe, the former Prime Minister of Japan is assassinated : NPR
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an ultra-nationalist who held the post longer than anyone before stepping down in 2020, was shot and killed Friday during a campaign rally.
Police approached and arrested the suspected gunman at the scene of an attack that shocked many in Japan, which is one of the safest countries in the world and has some of the strictest traffic control laws. fire arms.
“It is barbaric and malicious and it cannot be tolerated,” current Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told media.
Abe, 67, served as prime minister in 2006 and 2007 and then from 2012 to 2020 when he suddenly resigned citing health issues. Although he left office, he remained influential within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and continued to be a force in the Japanese political landscape.
He was in the southwestern city of Nara campaigning for parliamentary elections when he was shot from behind by a man wielding what appears in the photos to be a homemade weapon.
“I’ve been studying Abe and thinking about his politics for so long, it’s just unfathomable that he’s gone so abruptly, in some ways as powerful as he’s ever been,” said Tobias Harris, author of the book. The Iconoclast: Shinzō Abe and the New Japanwrote on Twitter.
Footage of the attack shows Abe standing, holding a microphone and speaking, when two shots are heard.
Nara Medical University’s emergency department chief, Hidetada Fukushima, said Abe suffered significant heart damage in addition to two neck injuries that damaged an artery, causing heavy bleeding, according to the report. Associated Press.
Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, reported that the suspect had served in Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Forces for three years in the 2000s.
Tributes poured in from around the world.
The White House said in a statement it was “shocked and saddened” by the attack. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is in Asia for a meeting of the Group of 20 foreign ministers, called the assassination “deeply disturbing” and described Abe as a leader with great vision.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi describe Abe as “a towering global statesman, outstanding leader and outstanding administrator”. He declared on Twitter that July 9 would be a day of national mourning in India.
As prime minister, Abe worked to bolster Japan’s military, counter China’s growing influence, and sought to stimulate and reform the economy through a program known as “Abenomics.”
During her tenure, Abe reformed immigration policy, female labor force participation increased, and the Japanese economy unexpectedly returned to healthy growth.
He ultimately failed to achieve his and his party’s most cherished political goal: revising Japan’s pacifist constitution after World War II. Abe’s proposed revisions would strengthen the government’s emergency powers, while downplaying the role of human rights. Abe felt that the political values imposed by the US-backed constitution were foreign to certain Japanese traditions, such as respect for the emperor.
Abe, however, managed to pass legislation in 2015 that allows the Japanese military to expand overseas operations to support its allies, including the United States.
When he left office, most Japanese were unhappy with his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, believing he had moved too slowly to impose a state of emergency, mainly for the sake of economy.
In recent months, Abe had been a more vocal critic of China. Earlier this year he called the United States to abandon its longstanding practice of “strategic ambiguity” and reassure Taiwan that it could count on American assistance in the event of an attack from China.
He also angered China by saying “a contingency in Taiwan is a contingency in Japan”, and noting that it would be impossible for Japan not to be sucked into a conflict over the self-governing island that Beijing considers as part of China.