We shouldn’t forget who Shinzo Abe, good friend of Donald Trump, is.
Two of Abe’s Cabinet appointees were associated with Japan’s Nazi Party and several of his comrades wrote laudatory blurbs for a book called Hitler’s Election Strategy, published in 1994, and written by a member of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The book was banned after international criticism.
Comparisons with the Nazis are hard to brush off if your Cabinet members are looking up to them as role models.
Let’s not forget that Abe appointed an unrepentant racist, Eriko Yamatani, associated with the internationally condemned Zaitokukai, to oversee the National Police Agency. Neither the prime minister nor any of his senior Cabinet members openly opposed the discrimination against Japan’s Korean residents. Last month, the Cabinet announced in an approved written response to an opposition party’s question on the usage of Hitler’s Mein Kampf as teaching material in classrooms that it was completely acceptable.
After a public outcry, they made the obligatory comment that “if it were used as a tool to promote racism… that would be inappropriate.”
Initially, criticism erupted all over the country but the mainstream media practiced self-censorship and didn’t touch the issue until the outcry forced their hand as well.
Cabinet ministers this year also announced support for reintroducing the kamikaze-inspiring Imperial Rescript on Education back into the classroom. It was issued originally by the Meiji Era emperor in 1890 and advised citizens that the greatest moral good was to give their life for him or his successors. It was later used as part of the ideology that had Japan send soldiers out to die in airplanes as kamikaze pilots, die in small submarines as human torpedoes, and force Okinawans to commit mass suicide. After the war, the edict was declared null and void by Japan’s parliament in 1948, with a statement that it “clearly undermines basic human rights and calls into question Japan’s international fidelity.” Now, it’s on its way back. Indeed, it has been a good year for those nostalgic for prewar Japanese militarism. Bayonet practice will be making a comeback in education as well.
Absolutely none of that justifies murdering Abe, especially since he was out of power. Assassination ought to always be off the table.
Shootings in general are extraordinarily rare in Japan, thanks to their strict gun laws. The assassin here had to construct his own handmade weapon to carry out the evil deed.
With situations like this, and thinking about how long Abe was prime minister, I keep thinking of the adage, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”
R. L. Foster says
Meanwhile, on this side of the ocean, 2nd Amendment absolutists are already saying that this just shows the futility of gun control laws. A person intent on committing a crime who can’t buy a firearm legally will simply construct his own. There may be a kernel of truth in that, but constructing a zip gun is lot easier than putting together an AR-15 equivalent.
Which won’t stop the usual bunch of yahoos from shouting “See? Gun laws don’t stop gun violence!”
In my lifetime, here in America, two presidents have been shot, one fatally; two presidential candidates have been shot, one fatally, the other spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair; another president had guns drawn on him twice just days apart; throw in some congress people and some civil rights leaders and the US record of political assassinations starts to rival a good banana republic.
And the same people who, after a mass shooting here, castigate anyone who suggests gun control for “politicizing the tragedy,” will use this to try to score political points.
Abe was going to be fondly remembered by the fascists no matter what, like Reagan.
My money is on the guy who shot him also being far-right but we’ll see.
Pierce R. Butler says
Assassination ought to always be off the table.
Not least because, as our esteemed host’s headline implies, it creates holy martyrs.
FoxNews headline: “NPR, CBS, AP slamming Shinzo Abe is latest example of outlets bashing dead conservatives”
Accurate information about a person, dead or alive, isn’t slamming or bashing.
Unless you’re attempting to throw out a valid election and your VP isn’t cooperative.
Karl Stevens says
@numerobis Seems you’re correct – the murderer said that the reason he did it was because Abe wasn’t right-wing enough.
Ray Ceeya says
Some right wing assholes have all the luck…
consciousness razor says
Both went out of their way to say this asshole was a good guy.
I can’t agree that assassination should always be off the table, or else we’d be condemning the attempted assassinations of Hitler and the successful assassination of Heydrich. But definitely it should only be “on the table” in extreme circumstances such as during active Nazi occupation. Assassinating a retired politician, even one as detestable as Abe, seems to me to be violence for its own sake.
(And BTW, the assassin in this case has stated that his motives were religious, not political. According to Japanese news outlet FNN, the shooter told police, “It is not a grudge against former Prime Minister Abe’s political beliefs.” His grudge was against Abe’s links to a particular religious group. This religious group has not been named in any of the articles I could find.)
@ Ray Ceeya : “Some right wing assholes have all the luck…”
if they had less luck aren’t they less likely to be reich wing given a better understanding of what others experience as a general rule?
Right-wing assholes are more likely to have solid marksmanship training.
And that is why I will spread a rumor that Mitch McConnell is a secret muslim with a gay lover.
@ ^ birgerjohansson : maybe tho’ not that sure about the solid part. The numberof them that do stupid thinsg with guibns .. Exhibit A : Sarah palin? Oh and also this classic.
^ guns that is.
No I don’t know why I didn;t see that on preview either. Really tired now I guess..
Yes, often tired. Often emotional.
@ ^ Nah, just tired.
I have no Japanese, but a DeepL translate of this page says:
Which strikes me as being not primarily a religious motivation, as in hating the doctrines of the group (although I suppose that can’t be ruled out), but financial/emotional (due to his mother’s financial and emotional overinvestment in the group).
consciousness razor says
There are some indications now that the shooter may have associated Abe with the Unification Church (AKA “Moonies”) and was part of Sanctuary Church, a militant and gun-obsessed offshoot led by Sean Moon/Hyung Jin Moon and hostile to Unification, which incidentally also had members involved in the January 6 attack if that gives you any idea of their politics. The media are (understandably) hesitant to release many details like this which could spark even more tension, but maybe we’ll get some confirmation of that eventually.
That’s often how radicalization happens though…. The religious hatred/intolerance probably wasn’t just his own idea, if it’s right that he was affiliated (however loosely) with Sanctuary Church. That shit gets fed to the guy, which is why his anger/frustration got directed in that very specific way.
consciousness razor says
Here’s a pretty wild article from Vice about Sanctuary Church (AKA “Rod of Iron Ministries”), published last year.
Is this a relative of the Moon that owns New York Post?
The kooks who originated in South Korea?
consciousness razor says
Sean Moon is one of Sun Myung Moon’s sons, yes. (Another, going by Justin, is the CEO/President of a small arms manufacturer. It’s a big family.)
However, New York Post is owned by NewsCorp, founded by Rupert Murdoch. You may be thinking of The Washington Times.
The wiki page for Unification Church lists a ton of other related organizations.
Between Murdoch and the old religious cultist they have the American stupidsphere of media sewn up. There are also some minor Murdoch clones in Britain- together they make up the infamous “gutter press” , the final proof Britain has bo culture.
This is asshole-on-asshole violence, like a stabbing on a prison yard. Except some of people in prison are innocent.