Let’s Tune In: Shinzo Abe’s Assassination

Let’s Tune In: Shinzo Abe’s Assassination

Giuseppe Maria Bartalotta
Latest posts by Giuseppe Maria Bartalotta (see all)

Let’s Tune In is a weekly column produced by our Newsroom team to highlight one story that you might have missed from last week. You can read more about our weekly content on the Newsroom page.

On the 8th July of 2022, the former Japanese President Shinzo Abe, one of the most influential Japanese politicians post the Second War World and a candidate for the election that would have taken place two days ahead, was shot twice while attending an event.

Shinzo Abe was the President of the Liberal Democratic Party from 2006 to 2007, and then again from 2012-2020. According to several sources, this is a conservative party that does not have a clear ideology like the other parties, and for this reason, it unified several ideologies inside it. Shinzo Abe was the longest-serving Prime Minister in Japanese History. He served the country for 10 years from 2012 to 2022.

His hawkish, nationalist views were divisive, particularly his desire to reform the country’s pacifist constitution to recognise the country’s military, and he weathered a series of scandals, including allegations of cronyism. But he was lauded by others for his economic strategy, dubbed “Abenomics” and his efforts to put Japan firmly on the world stage, including by cultivating close ties with former US President Donald Trump.

Tetsuya Yamagami, a resident of Nara, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder. According to government sources, the suspect was a member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force for about three years through August 2005. Yamagami has confessed that he committed the crime as he has a grudge against a “specific organization” in the belief that it is linked with Abe.

In the end, the Liberal Democratic party will be led by Fumio Kishida who had strong support from Abe. Kishida will encounter fragmented opposition parties such as the Constitutional Democratic Party and the Japan Innovation Party. The first would like to hold its score and the second to maintain its position especially after recently growing from the last election.

Fumio Kishida, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party said: “We must never allow violence to suppress speech during elections, which are the foundation of democracy,”.

Joe Biden said in a statement: “I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and killed while campaigning,”.

The liberal Democratic Party had not had a strong opposition party before Abe’s death and for this reason, the result of the election that took place on 10th July 2022 did not surprise anyone. Indeed the Liberal Democratic Party took a solid majority. What changed is only the person who will lead the country, not its guidelines and promises.

Will Fumio Kishida follow Abe’s agenda or instil his own?

Suggested readings:

Assassination suspect admits targeting Japan’s Shinzo Abe: Police | News | Al Jazeera

Shinzo Abe: How the former Japan PM’s assassination unfolded – BBC News

Former Japan PM Abe dead after shooting – Chinadaily.com.cn

Former Japan PM Abe dies after being shot during election speech (kyodonews.net)

Japan party leaders repeat favored campaign lines as vote nears (kyodonews.net)

Japanese coalition set to win vote after Abe death (rte.ie)

Japan ruling party wins big in upper house election after ex-PM Abe’s death (kyodonews.net)

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Let’s Tune In: Shin…

by Giuseppe Maria Bartalotta time to read: 2 min