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.