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Japan marks a year since former PM Abe was gunned down


Jul 12, 2023

Japan marks a year since
former PM Abe was gunned down

TCSN World Desk

on Saturday marked one year since former prime minister Shinzo Abe was gunned
down during an election speech by a man angry at his links to the Unification
Church. The death of Japan’s longest serving prime minister, which was caught
on video, rattled a nation unused to gun violence. Prime Minister Fumio
Kishida and other senior officials and lawmakers joined Abe’s widow, Akie, at a
private memorial service at a Buddhist temple in Tokyo. The public were let in
to offer flowers after the service ended. Among them was Tsuu Ogawa, 49,
a hotel worker, who celebrated her birthday the day that Abe

shinzo-abe-assassination-one-year-commemmoration Japan marks a year since former PM Abe was gunned down

was assassinated.
“I was shocked that such a terrible thing as this could happen in Japan, and I
pray that such a thing never happens again,” she said carrying flowers to the
temple. Abe who stepped down in 2020, is remembered for pursuing economic
policies aimed at ending years of deflation, including aggressive monetary
easing, fiscal stimulus and deregulation. Critics said those measures also
opened up an income gap. He also championed an aggressive defence policy that
increased military spending and reinterpreted Japan’s war-renouncing
constitution to allow Japanese troops to fight overseas for the first time
since World War Two. “I will support politicians who carry on the work
of Abe’s administration,” Atsuhiro Ueda, a 35-year-old office worker, said as
he joined others at the temple. While Kishida has stepped back from
Abe’s economic agenda, he has maintained his predecessor’s hawkish policies,
announcing last year that Japan would double defence spending. Abe’s
death triggered a public backlash against the ruling Liberal Democratic Party
after close links between it and the Unification Church came to light. Tetsuya
Yamagami 42, who has yet to stand trial, is suspected of using a handmade
firearm fashioned out of metal and wood to kill the 67-year-old politician. In
social media posts before the shooting, he blamed the Unification Church for
leaving his mother in financial straits Known globally for its mass weddings,
the South Korean church has been blamed for causing financial hardship by
seeking large donations from its followers. Revelations that Abe and
more than half of all LDP lawmakers had links to the church, with some
accepting donations or using its followers as election workers, prompted
high-level resignations, including that of Economic Revitalisation Minister
Daishiro Yamagiwa.


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