Shinzo Abe, killed at 67, leaves a storied legacy as Japan’s longest-serving premier
SEOUL — Shinzo Abe, a former Japanese prime minister, was slain on Friday, shocking a country where political assassinations and gun violence are uncommon. With his famous “Abenomics” approach, Japan’s influential and longest-serving prime minister attempted to revive the country’s economy and restore its standing on the international arena. He was 67.
Just before Sunday’s parliamentary elections, Abe was giving a speech for a candidate in Nara, a city in western Japan, when a man fatally shot him from behind with a homemade gun.
Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was killed. Here’s what the scene was like
Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old unemployed former member of Japan’s maritime defence force, was detained by police. Although the police claim he confessed, his motivation for the crime is yet unknown.
A population that was sharply split over his politics responded to the assassination with shock, horror, and opposing viewpoints.
“Maybe this is the standard in the United States. But this occurred in Japan, and I’m horrified “said a man with the last name Shimizu who declined to offer his first name, explaining that he has a negative opinion of the media. About 30 miles north of Nara, in Kyoto, he was speaking to the public. “I feel like time is passing more slowly.”
A woman with the last name Otake was less shocked but also hesitant to reveal her entire name, for the same justification. She remarked, “I believe that many of the issues that Japan is currently facing were created during his government. “I oppose Abe.”
The country has not seen violence like this in decades
Japanese gun restrictions are strict, pistols and rifles are officially forbidden, and shooting deaths are incredibly uncommon. The yakuza crime syndicates are frequently linked to the sparse gun crime.
Abe’s assassination shocks Japan, where gun control is strict and shootings are rare
Japanese politics have been free of bloodshed for more than 60 years, the majority of which the Liberal Democratic Party, to which Abe belongs, has held sway.
A socialist party leader was murdered by a sword-wielding assassin during violent street riots between the political left and right in Japan in the early 1960s over the country’s security treaty with the United States.
Politicians eventually came to an agreement to conceal political conflict behind a peaceful façade.
According to Koichi Nakano, a political scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo, “by and large, I think you can say that the politics here have been built on the idea of nonviolence, and the differences could be passionate, but they have remained at the verbal level, so far.”
Tobias Harris, academic and author of the biography The Iconoclast: Shinzo Abe and the New Japan, predicted that there would be genuine, universal mourning even among those who didn’t particularly agree with his political views. “I anticipate [his passing] will be more of a unifying event than a contentious event,” the author said.
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