Funeral for Shinzo Abe to be held in Tokyo

The funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will commence in Tokyo today, days after being gunned down in

Shinzo Abe funeral

A funeral will be held today in Tokyo for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – Photo: Soichiro Koriyama/Bloomberg

The funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will commence in Tokyo today, days after being gunned down in a rare act of Japanese political violence.

Abe was Japan’s longest-serving PM, before stepping down in August 2021 due to health issues. He was popular among the Japanese public for his attempts at reviving the stagnating economy—with his Abenomics—and internationally for championing the rules-based order, co-founding the Quad and challenging China’s assertiveness. But, he was also a polarizing figure. Abe strengthened Japan’s military and wanted to revise the country’s pacifist constitution. His historical revisionism and refusal to acknowledge Japan’s wartime atrocities made him unpopular in China and deeply resented in South Korea.

Despite having stepped down from the role of prime minister last year, Abe still had a great impact on the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) until his death. His assassination was a major reason for the LDP’s success in upper house elections last Sunday, in which the ruling coalition gained a supermajority. This will likely result in stronger national security legislation even paving the way for a further dismantling of Japan’s pacifist policies. Still, his death may lead to a power vacuum within the LDP, due to his outstanding influence.

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