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Assassination of Shinzo Abe

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July 11, 2022

What is the issue?

Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated during a campaign speech in western Japan and later died of heart failure.

Who was Shinzo Abe?

  • Abe came from a political family. His father Shintaro Abe was foreign minister (1982-86) while his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi was prime minister (1957-60).
  • Following their footsteps, Abe became the country’s longest serving Prime Minister.
  • Abe announced his resignation in 2020 due to poor health.
  • With this, he ended a stint at the helm of the world’s third biggest economy.
  • But he remained a dominant presence over the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, controlling one of its major factions.

What are the contributions of Abe for Japan’s development?

  • Economy- Abe launched his “Abenomics” policies with three arrows that aimed at kick starting economic growth and higher wages - loose monetary policy, fiscal stimulus and structural economic reforms.
  • Defence- One of his more-controversial goals was revising Article 9 of the constitution, which stipulates that “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation”.
  • He was also credited with strengthening the country’s military by bolstering defence spending.
  • Domestic affairs- Abe promised to shore up the country’s pension and health-insurance systems.
  • His government oversaw the post-quake reconstruction.
  • Maritime domain- He was ardinent in making Japan a leader in the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • He wanted Japan to step up to become “a guardian of the global commons” in an increasingly contested maritime domain, and to work closely with “like-minded democracies”, such as the United States, India, Australia and South Korea.

How was Abe’s relation with other foreign countries?

  • North Korea- Abe supported United Nations sanctions against North Korea following that country’s nuclear test and imposed a set of unilateral sanctions.
  • India- Abe was the first Japanese PM to be chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade in 2014.
  • China- Abe was one of the architects of Quad- an alliance aimed at countering China’s growing influence and military might.
  • The Abe administration managed to establish Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal even without U.S. as an economic counter to China.

How was India-Japan ties during the term of Mr. Shinzo Abe?

  • Bilateral/ Multilateral platforms- The Quad, the ASEAN-led forums, the Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative, the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure all benefited from his contributions.
  • Indo Pacific- He transformed Japan’s strategic engagement, including in defence, connectivity, infrastructure and sustainability, across the Indo Pacific region.
  • Bullet train project- He championed the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project in which India uses Japanese technologies for the first such high-speed rail corridor in the country.
  • Japan-India Association- Recently, Abe took over as the Chair of the Japan-India Association, one of the oldest friendship associations in Japan that was established in 1903.

 

References

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/a-death-unforetold-on-assassination-of-shinzo-abe/article65623585.ece
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/my-friend-abe-san/article65617171.ece
  3. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Abe-Shinzo
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