The shooting of Shinzo Abe is a huge shock to Japan and the world :: InvestMacro

by Craig MarkAnd the Kyoritsu Women’s University

Japan is reeling from Assassination From its longest-serving former Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. He was campaigning for the ruling Liberal Party for the Senate elections scheduled for Sunday, in the western Japanese city of Nara, when he was shot in the back, apparently with a homemade spray gun.

The alleged aggressor is said to be a 42-year-old local man, was arrested at the scene. There is no known motive at this time, but there is Reports The suspect is a former member of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Abby was seen lying bleeding on the ground before being taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital where he was Later announced dead.

Political violence and gun violence in general are extremely rare in post-war Japan, so this incident shocked the Japanese public hard. Gun ownership is strictly controlled, and is mostly limited to registered hunters.

There have been occasional shootings by organized crime groups, usually targeting each other, but Japan has been doing so consistently Low rates of violent crime.

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Far-right groups have been responsible for some attacks on politicians in the post-war period: In 1990, the then mayor of Nagasaki, Hitoshi Motoshima, was Shot and wounded; In 1960, Injiro Asanuma was the leader of the opposition Japanese Socialist Party stabbed and killed.

In the antebellum era, Democratic politicians found themselves subject to frequent attacks and intimidation by the military. Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi was killed by Imperial Navy officers in a coup attempt on May 15, 1932.

Abe’s political legacy

Abe, 67, is the grandson of former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, and was a scion of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which remained in government for most of the post-war period. His first term as prime minister lasted nearly a year, from 2006 to 2007, before he resigned because of it ulcerative colitis Following his party’s poor performance in the 2007 Senate elections.

He made a brilliant political comeback in 2012, regained leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party and won the general election in December. Abe won national elections in 2014 and 2017, consolidating his power over weak and divided opposition parties.

He introduced his distinctive economic policy, “Abenomics‘, based on massive deficit spending, quantitative easing and attempts at structural reform. However, twice the consumption tax hike has undermined these attempts to lift the Japanese economy out of its decades-long stagnation.

Abe, a member of the ultra-nationalist pressure group Nippon Keiji, has made a far-reaching shift in Japan’s foreign and defense policy, reinterpreting Article 9 of the constitution, to allow for a greater deployment of self-defense forces abroad.

His government increased defense spending annually, and in 2015 passed the Diet (Japanese Parliament) Controversial security bills That allowed the SDF to engage in collective defense operations with allied nations, notably the United States, but likely also Australia, India and the United Kingdom.

Abe originally raised the concept of the Quadripartite Security Partnership between Japan, the United States, Australia, and India, and in 2016 formalized the phrase “free and open Indo-Pacific” as a major goal of Japan’s foreign policy to maintain the liberal, rules-based order led by the United States. order in international relations.

His longevity in office made him one of the world’s most experienced leaders, and he used his foreign policy expertise to steadily manage the U.S. coalition, dealing with erratic President Donald Trump throughgolf diplomacy“.

Abe has been able to maintain fairly stable relations with neighboring China, Japan’s largest trading partner, despite a long-running territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands (which China claims are the Daewoos). Relations with South Korea remained weak, however, due to disagreements over historical issues arising from Japan’s colonial rule of Korea.

As a member of the largest conservative faction in the LDP, Abe’s dominance of the party and Japanese politics began to erode when the ruling coalition lost its two-thirds majority in the 2019 upper house elections. A long-running series of Nepotism scandals It also affected his public standing; Investigations by prosecutors led to charges being brought against some of Abe’s associates and political staff, although Abe himself was never charged.

While Japan has coped well with the COVID pandemic, largely due to cooperation with health measures recommended by the public, Abe’s government has come under increasing criticism for a series of Ineffective epidemiological responses As the economy entered a severe recession. Abe’s poor health returned, and he resigned in August 2020, and was replaced by former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga the following month.

Abe has remained a member of Parliament, and last year became the leader of the Hosoda faction, having backed his former foreign minister and current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in the race to become the party’s leader.

The situation is still evolving

In response to this tragedy, the Liberal Democratic Party asked its candidates to stop campaigning, and opposition party politicians announced their suspension of campaign activities.

Kishida has returned to the Prime Minister’s office to monitor the situation, but at the time of writing, there has been no announcement of voting arrangements for the upper house elections, scheduled for Sunday, July 10.

In the pre-election ballot, the LDP was expected to win a comfortable majority, in partnership with its junior partner, the Komeito Party.

The 2022 upper house election will now remain in the shadow of one of the most disturbing events in Japan’s modern political history.Conversation

About the author:

Craig MarkProfessor at the College of International Studies Kyoritsu Women’s University

This article has been republished from Conversation Under a Creative Commons License. Read the original article.

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