– by Satoshi Sugiyama and Chang-Ran Kim
NARA (Reuters) – Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was murdered while giving a campaign speech on Friday.
He died in hospital as a result of his injuries. Abe bled to death, a doctor at Nara University Hospital said. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had previously condemned the attack in the strongest terms. The clearly moved politician told reporters that the attack on Abe during Sunday’s upper house campaign was an unacceptable attack on the foundations of Japanese democracy. He was unaware of any motive for the “totally unforgivable” attack.
Abe was giving a campaign speech outside a train station in the ancient imperial city of Nara when the shots were fired. The 67-year-old apparently had a blow to the neck, according to media reports. Police arrested a 41-year-old suspect. Investigators found that the bandit suspect was a resident of Nara. Japanese TV station NHK reported that the man told police that his motive was dissatisfaction with Abe and a desire to kill the 67-year-old politician. According to media reports, he served in the Japanese army for three years until 2005.
ABE EVEN AFTER TIME IN THE OFFICE
Politicians around the world reacted with shock to this act. Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock expressed her condolences at a press conference at the meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Bali. Her thoughts are with her family and the country of Japan, said the green politician. Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed serious concern over the condition of Abes. “It’s a very, very sad moment.” The United States is Japan’s most important ally.
Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. Even after his resignation in 2020, he was the shaping force of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), controlling one of its most important factions. Kishida, Abe’s protégé, hoped to use the elections to step out of Abe’s shadow and define his position as prime minister, analysts said. Kishida suspended his campaign and returned to Tokyo. The government said it had no plans to postpone the elections.
“ABENOMIA” – SUCCESSFUL ECONOMIC POLICY
Abe first took office in 2006 as Japan’s youngest prime minister since World War II. After a year plagued by political scandals, voters’ outrage over the loss of retirement papers and the electoral failure of his ruling party, he resigned on the grounds of poor health. In 2012 he became prime minister again. With “Abenomics” named after him, Abe turned the country inside out. Thanks to active economic promotion, thanks to loose monetary policy, high government spending and reforms, he was able to stimulate the economy from 2012. But the Corona crisis wiped out successes. Today Japan is in a deep recession.
Abe’s tenure also brought a far-reaching change in foreign and security policy. So he screwed up his defense spending. In 2014, his government reinterpreted the constitution, allowing Japanese troops to participate in foreign operations for the first time since World War II. A year later, laws were passed removing the prohibition of exercising the right to collective self-defense or defense of the attacked friendly country. However, the change of course also met with criticism from the population. Abe has also been criticized for dealing with the corona virus, even though Japan did not suffer from explosive outbreaks like other countries.
Abe came from a wealthy political family. His father was once a secretary of state and his grandfather was a prime minister.
(Reuters-Bro Tokyo, written by Elke Ahlswede and Anneli Palmen, edited by Hans Seidenstcker. If you have any questions please contact our editorial team at firstname.lastname@example.org (for politics and economics) or frankfurt.newsroom @ thomsonreuters .com (for companies and markets).