Politicians are caught off guard by their assassins. Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Thomas Sankara, Mahatma Gandhi, Aldo Moro, and a great number of other people experienced it. Shinzo Abe, a former Japanese prime minister, was shot and killed just yesterday.
Since the 1960 assassination of Inejiro Asanuma, the leader of the Socialist Party, there have been almost no murders committed for political motives in Japan. Then, in 2007, Tetsuya Shiroo, the head of a local gang connected to the Yamaguchi-Gumi group, shot Nagasaki Mayor Itchyo Ito twice in the back.
Now Shinzo Abe, a former Japanese prime minister, has also been shot twice 15 years later. At a gathering of members of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the politician spoke in the city of Nara. Kei Sato, a party colleague of Abe’s, is running for election to the upper chamber of parliament, so Abe came to show his support.
The eyewitness footage shows a loud blast followed by the appearance of a white smoke cloud. Abe stood after the first shot, but after the second one, the politician was knocked to the ground.
Abe received medical attention right away and was flown by helicopter to the Kashihara hospital run by the Nara Medical University. Doctors reportedly found two gunshot wounds in the chest and neck. After the attack, it was discovered that Shinzo Abe had died from his wounds.
The politician’s death was confirmed by the medics to have been caused by significant blood loss. A transfusion had been done, but the heart could not be restarted.
According to authorities, the alleged attacker was close to Abe and opened fire from behind. He did not attempt to flee after the shots were fired; instead, he was apprehended and given to the police. The accused murder weapon is a sawn-off shotgun that was constructed at home out of two pipes.
Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old inhabitant of Nara City, served in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces for roughly three years until leaving in 2005. It was not revealed what he did next.
The suspect has reportedly already admitted his involvement and stated that he carried out the attack because he disapproved of Abe’s conduct and policies. Additionally, he said that he was not opposed to the previous prime minister’s political ideas at the time, but what actions is he referring to?
The Political Career of Shinzo Abe
Shinzo Abe is not just a mere political figure. He was born in 1954, and his ancestors were politicians. Shintaro Abe, his father, held the positions of general secretary of the LDP and minister of foreign affairs. After serving for a brief time as his father’s secretary, Shinzo Abe decided to run for the House of Representatives (the lower house of Parliament) in 1993.
From 2006 to 2007, and again from 2012 to 2020, Abe was the prime minister. Due to medical issues, the politician resigned. He also attained the record for the longest tenure as prime minister in Japan’s history at the same time. He interestingly beat his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi’s record in this ranking, which he had previously held.
Abe implemented “Abenomics” as his official economic strategy during his second term. Massive monetary easing, fiscal stimulus, and reforms aimed at combating deflation and reviving the nation’s stagnating economy are some of the policies being put into place. Critics point out that while offering little to the average person, the scheme has increased wealth for the wealthy.
Abe worked to improve Japan’s standing overseas while also solidifying its security alliance with the United States. In addition, the politician occasionally incited hostility in Japan’s neighbors as a result of issues related to the war. For instance, he went to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo in December 2013, which is regarded as a representation of Japanese militarism. There was a strong response to this in a number of nations, especially in China and South Korea.
Abe frequently visited Vladimir Putin, there were significant efforts to settle the Kuril Islands dispute, and a program of economic and other cooperation was launched. However, some analysts claim that this was done to cajole Russia into giving up the islands that make up the southern Kuril Ridge to Japan. However, their attempts were ineffective.
It should be remembered that the Japanese constitution during the Abe administration underwent another revision with the goal of enhancing the power and function of the Self-Defense Forces. The previous prime minister was a fierce advocate for amending the constitution.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida quickly flew from Yamagata Prefecture to Tokyo after the event. He denounced the assault and argued that such heinous conduct should never be permitted. Many countries around the globe and prominent international figures have already sent their condolences to Abe’s family and friends.
It is still unclear what specifically drove the attacker to commit this crime if he acted alone, and other factors. However, the assassination of one of the nation’s leading politicians just before the election is unavoidably political, at least in terms of its repercussions.
It is difficult to predict exactly what the political repercussions of this murder will be, but there is little doubt that one of Japan’s influential leaders has died. What is known is that Shinzo Abe was one of Japan’s most powerful politicians right up until the end.
His assassin, who has been portrayed as a lone terrorist, will have his level of sanity examined during the investigation; if sane, the law will follow its natural course. Such political tragedies occur suddenly and without notice, and those who do them are more aware of their activities.
By: Joel Savage, © 2022
Joel Savage is a Ghanaian-Belgian journalist and author. The accredited press-card holder of the Flemish Journalists Association once contributed regularly to the features column of the Daily Graphic, The Mirror, Ghanaian Times and the Weekly Spectator. The writer currently lives in Belgium.