EcoRéseau Business – The sun goes down on Shinzo Abe

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Itinerary for a virtuoso of political strategy.

According to a witness, the first detonation was “like the noise of a toy”. The second, loosely pulled in the back, destroyed former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Immediately, its militants, who were attending an outdoor meeting there, knew how to remain true to the Confucian spirit. Instead of screams and tears, everyone got busy surrounding the victim, giving him a first heart massage, calling for help, which constituted a safety perimeter. The police immediately subjugated the assassin. His profile: residing in Nara, the country’s former feudal capital, right where the election rally took place, with a view to the July 10 senatorial election. And above all, the killer is a former “self-defense force”, a name modestly given to the military organization of a country which, under international law from World War II, still has no right to an army to defend itself against the Chinese predator.

Shinzo Abe, when he was Prime Minister, made this issue an absolute priority. In a desire to revise the “pacifist constitution” drafted by General MacArthur after the Japanese surrender in 1945, he described the text as “an act of remorse from the conquered towards the victors”. In the search for this inflexible patriot, Article 9: “Japan declares war forever.” It is true that Japan is the only nation in the world that accepts such mention in its Basic Law.

Abe will leave the people of the world’s third largest economy with the image of a strong and charismatic man – something rare in Japanese democracy – where prime ministers follow each other in haste, in primus inter pares interchangeable as they are. Shinzo Abe also holds the record for longevity in office: 7 years, 8 months and 21 days, between December 2012 and January 2020. A record he achieved by exceeding the term of office of his great-uncle … who was also head of government, as well as his grandfather!

And heirs jobs

In a country that still has many feudal habits, high-level politics remains a family affair. Shinzo Abe, who hails from a famous line of Yamaguchi, embraced politics from a young age by joining the State Department under the sole quality of his name. He worked in his own father’s administration, then Minister! Coincidentally, he also served in the same administration as his ancestor, Yōsuke Matsuoka, a former Japanese diplomat, unfortunately famous for having signed the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and fascist Italy in September 1940.

Shinzo Abe’s career as a civil servant ended abruptly with his father’s death in 1991. As a dolphin, it was only natural that he presented himself to succeed him in the deputy, in the Yamaguchi family circle. He then manages to find his way through the hallways of the Japanese diet and rises to senior positions.

Towards the higher layers

In 2002, he was in charge of negotiating with North Korea, always eager to throw his anger on the archipelago. The communist dynasty is angry at Japan, which for a long time was the ruthless occupier of the Korean Peninsula. In a terrorist command operation, the regime manages to kidnap five Japanese nationals walking on a Japanese beach. Monkey is going to Pyongyang to negotiate with Kim Il-sung, father of the current dictator. His uncompromising firmness is hailed by the Japanese, who discover a man endowed with courage.

Despite his youth, a year later, in 2003, he was elected Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party. LDP is an exception in global democracies. Since the post-war era and the establishment of democracy, the Japanese have renewed the same party over and over again. Strange democracy than that which does not know the exchange! There was only a very short interlude, between 2009 and 2012, when the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) managed to come to power. Until the tsunami.

Prime Minister of the 2010s

March 11, 2011. An earthquake measuring 9.1 on the Richter scale occurs off the coast of Honshū Island. There will be a violent tsunami with 15 meter high waves, which will hit the Japanese coast for dozens of kilometers. The Fukushima Daiichi plant can not stand it. This triple trauma has been an unparalleled shock to the Japanese people since the war. Emperor Akihito, usually withdrawn in his silence, still regarded by a section of the population as the direct descendant of the goddess of the sun, speaks on the radio. An extraordinary act never seen since his father, Hirohito, announced Japan’s surrender after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In the middle of the rubble, Shinzo Abe reappears. The then leader of the opposition, he decides on a slogan that will flourish: “Restore Japan”, with which he very easily wins the parliamentary elections. Return of the unsinkable PLD to current.

“Reconstruction of Japan”

Prime Minister Abe is relaunching his old idea: to return Japan’s army. He also insists on the fundamental importance of relations with the United States (which has important bases on the archipelago) and points to Chinese ambitions. No longer a matter of backing up, for example in the matter of the Senkaku Islands, miserable cliffs lost in the China Sea. Beijing and Tokyo have always fought for them. They wanted to reseal important hydrocarbon resources. However, the ecological transition should leave them where they are.

At the economic level, Shinzo Abe is developing the “Abenomics”, or “three arrows program”: massive devaluation of the yen, Keynesian revival and growth investments. Japan regains color. At the same time, he installs innovative communication on social networks and imagines the strategy Cool Japan which aims to improve the country’s image on the international stage. Digital, cinema, literature, manga, song, tourism … Everything goes! The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are the culmination of this plan to conquer the conscience.

Twilight

His third term, which begins in 2019, will mark his slow decline. A corruption scandal is going to affect him directly. He is accused of having sold public land to a nationalist school group, close to his ideas, for only 15% of its value … and of having put his wife at the head of that establishment.

Covid, in turn, hits the archipelago. The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed for a year and are being held behind closed doors. Abe, who especially takes care of his relationship with Donald Trump during long golf games, proposes to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the thundering American president. This does not prevent him at the same time from developing cordial relations with Modi’s India, Netanyahu’s Israel or Putin’s Russia. Abe is a combative diplomat, undoubtedly talented and highly respected internationally.

His handling of the epidemic crisis, on the other hand, raises questions in the population that gradually distance themselves from him. Ulcerative colitis, an intestinal disease that has returned periodically since adolescence, gradually prevents him from ruling. On August 28, 2020, to everyone’s surprise, he announced his withdrawal for health reasons. He remains a simple deputy and tries to pull the strings behind the scenes by putting his relatives in power. Until July 8, 2022, when this tireless tribune dies under the bullets of an assassin with mysterious motives.

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