Junior First Rank
|Prime Minister of Japan|
26 December 2012 – 16 September 2020
|Preceded by||Yoshihiko Noda|
|Succeeded by||Yoshihide Suga|
26 September 2006 – 26 September 2007
|Preceded by||Junichiro Koizumi|
|Succeeded by||Yasuo Fukuda|
|President of the Liberal Democratic Party|
26 September 2012 – 14 September 2020
|Vice President||Masahiko Kōmura|
|Preceded by||Sadakazu Tanigaki|
|Succeeded by||Yoshihide Suga|
20 September 2006 – 26 September 2007
|Preceded by||Junichiro Koizumi|
|Succeeded by||Yasuo Fukuda|
|Chief Cabinet Secretary|
31 October 2005 – 26 September 2006
|Prime Minister||Junichiro Koizumi|
|Preceded by||Hiroyuki Hosoda|
|Succeeded by||Yasuhisa Shiozaki|
|Member of the House of Representatives|
20 October 1996 – 8 July 2022
|Preceded by||Constituency established|
|Constituency||Yamaguchi 4th district|
18 July 1993 – 20 October 1996
|Preceded by||Shintaro Abe|
|Succeeded by||Constituency abolished|
|Constituency||Yamaguchi 1st district (1947–1993)|
|Born||21 September 1954|
Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
|Died||8 July 2022 (aged 67)|
Kashihara, Nara, Japan
|Manner of death||Assassination|
|Political party||Liberal Democratic|
Shinzo Abe (/ / SHIN-zoh AH-bay; Japanese: 安倍 晋三, Hepburn: Abe Shinzō, IPA: [abe ɕindzoː]; 21 September 1954 – 8 July 2022) was a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan and President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020. He was the longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history. Abe also served as Chief Cabinet Secretary from 2005 to 2006 under Junichiro Koizumi and was briefly the opposition leader in 2012.
Abe was born into a prominent political family in Tokyo and was the grandson of Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi. After graduating from Seikei University and briefly attending the University of Southern California, Abe was elected to the House of Representatives in the 1993 election. Abe was appointed Chief Cabinet Secretary by Prime Minister Koizumi in 2005 before replacing him as prime minister and LDP president the following year. Confirmed by the National Diet, Abe became Japan's youngest post-war prime minister and the first born after World War II. Abe resigned as prime minister after one year due to ulcerative colitis and his party's recent losses. After recovering, Abe staged an unexpected political comeback by defeating Shigeru Ishiba, the former defense minister, to become LDP president in 2012. Following the LDP's landslide victory in that year's general election, Abe became the first former prime minister to return to the office since Shigeru Yoshida in 1948. He led the LDP to further victories in the 2014 and 2017 elections, becoming Japan's longest-serving prime minister. In 2020, Abe again resigned as prime minister, citing a relapse of his colitis, and was succeeded by Yoshihide Suga.
Abe was a staunch conservative whom political commentators had described as a right-wing Japanese nationalist. Associated with the Nippon Kaigi, he held negationist views on Japanese history, including denying the role of government coercion in the recruitment of comfort women during World War II, a position which caused tensions particularly with South Korea. Under his premiership, relations further strained in 2019 over disputes about reparations. Earlier that same year, Abe's government initiated a trade dispute with South Korea after the South Korean Supreme Court ruled that reparations be made by Japanese companies who had benefited from forced labor. Abe was also considered a hard-liner with respect to Japan's military policies. In 2007, he initiated the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue during his first tenure as prime minister, aimed at resisting China's rise as a superpower. He advocated reforming the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) by revising Article 9 of the Japanese constitution that outlawed declarations of war. He enacted military reforms in 2015 that allowed Japan to exercise collective security by allowing JSDF deployments overseas, the passage of which was controversial and met with protests. Economically, Abe attempted to counter Japan's economic stagnation with "Abenomics", with mixed results. Abe was also credited with reinstating the Trans-Pacific Partnership with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
On 8 July 2022, Abe was assassinated while delivering a campaign speech in Nara two days before the 10 July upper house elections. The suspect, who was arrested at the scene, confessed to targeting the former prime minister because of Abe's ties with the Unification Church. Abe's assassination was the first assassination of a former Japanese prime minister since 1936.
A polarizing figure in Japanese politics, Abe's supporters described him as a patriot who worked to strengthen Japan's security and international stature, while his opponents described his nationalistic policies and negationist views on history of threatening Japanese pacifism and damaging relations with China and South Korea. Commentators have said that his legacy pushed Japan towards more proactive military spending, security, and economic policies.
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Its roll call includes Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, 80 per cent of the cabinet and about half of the country's parliamentarians. The biggest champion to the cause and the group's special advisor is Mr Abe.
- Kato, Norihiro (12 September 2014). "Tea Party Politics in Japan". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
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- Narusawa, Muneo. "Abe Shinzo: Japan's New Prime Minister a Far-Right Denier of History". The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
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- Park, S. Nathan (4 September 2020). "Abe Ruined the Most Important Democratic Relationship in Asia". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 6 September 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- Osaki, Tomohiro (12 January 2018). "Abe rejects Seoul's new call for apology on 'comfort women' issue". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 12 January 2018. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
- "Explainer: History, islets and rulings behind tension between South Korea and Japan". Reuters. 22 November 2019. Archived from the original on 10 July 2022. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
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- Bremmer, Ian (3 October 2019). "Why the Japan-South Korea Trade War Is Worrying for the World". Time. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
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- "Australia has been in a stalemate with China, but that could be about to change". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 10 March 2021. Archived from the original on 10 March 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
- BBC website Japan upgrades its defence agency Archived 11 April 2022 at the Wayback Machine, BBC, 9 January 2007.
- Bremmer, Ian (8 July 2022). "Shinzo Abe's Formidable Legacy in Japan and the World". Time.
Abe's forceful foreign policy inspired both national self-confidence in Japan and considerable controversy. He was a strong and unapologetic ally of the United States. He went to extraordinary lengths to overcome protectionist pressures within Japan to support the Obama Administration's Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade—and took leadership of the plan when American political leaders of both parties renounced it.
- Rogin, Josh (8 July 2022). "Abe's legacy is a world better prepared to confront China". The Washington Post.
- Goodman, Matthew P. (8 July 2022). "Shinzo Abe's Legacy as Champion of the Global Economic Order". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022.
For decades, Japan was essentially a rule taker in the global economy, often assuming a defensive posture in international trade and rarely taking risks to champion new rules and norms. Abe changed all that, as his bold efforts on TPP, quality infrastructure, data governance underscore. At a time when the global economic order is under stress and the United States has pulled back from its traditional role as shaper of global economic rules, Abe's leadership was pivotal.