Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 08, 2022

The Death Of A Capable Revisionist

Last night some man with a self build gun killed the former prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.

Adhering to family tradition Shinzo Abe has been an Japanese imperialist. As Peter Lee wrote about him back in 2013:

Myth: Shinzo Abe is a leading member of the team of world and Asian democracies standing up to China in the name of universal values like “freedom of navigation” and to help ensure the shared peace and prosperity of Asia.

Reality: Shinzo Abe is a revisionist nationalist using friction with China to pursue Japanese national interests, put Japan on the right side of a zero-sum economic equation opposite the PRC, maximize Japan’s independence of action as a regional hegemon, hopefully peacefully, but if not...

Mission for the Western media: Manage the cognitive dissonance between comforting myth and disturbing reality for the sake of its faithful readers.

Challenge: Explain away Prime Minister Abe’s Boxing Day visit to the Yasukuni Shrine.

Some of the most monstrous Class A war criminals of the second word war, which include Abe's grandfather, were buried at the Yasukuni Shrine. The shrine and its attached museum are off-limits for most Japanese politicians. But Shinzo Abe prominently visited it because he carried the ideology of those who are buried there:

The core of Abe’s historical revisionism is not just that the bandit-infested territories of China and Korea demanded Japanese tutelage in the 1930s and 1940s, but also that the Japanese Empire was leading the fight of the oppressed peoples of Asia against British colonialism and American imperialism—in other words, the real war crime of World War II was U.S. aggression against Japan. The United States, and its pretensions to moral superiority over Japan, as well as China and Korea’s presumptuous claims to virtuous victimhood, were a target of Abe’s Yasukuni visit.

His policies of furthering militarism and conflict, especially with China and both Koreas, while making nice with Russia were born out of that ideology.

Shinzo Abe's last stint as prime minister lasted eight years. That was astonishing long as prime ministers in Japan only rarely serve longer than one year. It requires special qualities to politically survive as long as Shinzo Abe did.

Gun crimes in Japan are extremely rare. Of the dozen a year that actually happen most are between rivaling groups of the Japanese mafia, the Jakuza.

The Japanese police will likely find that the gunman was a 'lone individual'. That may well be, but there are certainly others who will gain from the incident. As William Pesek writes in Asia Times:

Though the motives and longer-term implications of this attack are impossible to assess, one political dynamic may have been altered: Prime Minister Fumio Kishida may now have greater latitude to stay on past his one-year mark in office come October.

Even though the Abe camp denied it, Tokyo was abuzz with chatter that Abe, who stepped down in September 2020, might toss his hat in the ring for a third stint as leader. Abe first served as premier from 2006 to 2007, then from 2012 to 2020.

Abe had been playing a behind-the-scenes kingmaker role since resigning. Speculation was rife that he was unhappy seeing Kishida walk back Abe’s signature efforts at detente with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Abe also reportedly disliked the optics of Kishida pledging to reform, at long last, Asia’s No 2 economy, the implication being that so-called “Abenomics” failed to put Japan on a more vibrant path.

Japanese prime ministers don’t tend to last more than 12 months. Abe’s eight-year run was a stark outlier. Suffice to say, Kishida will not need to be looking over his shoulder at Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) powerbroker Abe. This Sunday’s upper house elections are likely to give Kishida a firmer grip over his factional party, allowing him to emerge from the shadow of leaders past.

Kishida's policies are otherwise mostly in line with Abe's. He wants a strong militaristic Japan that can project power abroad. The U.S. is furthering that as it helps with its anti-China policies. But it should be careful what it wishes for.

Japan is a latent nuclear power as it has stored quite a bit of uranium and plutonium:

Japan has 47.8 tons of high sensitive separated plutonium., 10.8 tons of which are stored in Japan, enough to make 1350 nuclear warheads. In addition, Japan also has about 1.2 tons of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) for research reactors.

The country has the knowhow to handle such material. In a crisis situation it could quickly build nuclear bombs. Japan has long range delivery vehicles due to its space program. Once unleashed a revisionist Japan would be a danger, not only for its immediate neighbors, but for the U.S. itself.

Chian and both Koreas will be relieved that Shinzo Abe, the capable revisionist, is gone.

I wonder at which shrine his ashes will be buried.

Posted by b on July 8, 2022 at 14:24 UTC | Permalink

next page »

As we enter the new multi-polar world, of course Japan will build nuclear weapons.

Posted by: Wobblie | Jul 8 2022 14:32 utc | 1

I don’t remember exactly, but it seems at the end of last year, when the United States deliberately whipped up anti-Russian hysteria and published ridiculous “maps of Russia’s attack on Ukraine”, threatened with a monstrous provocation (which Russia allegedly organizes), in another 'news & views' MoA topic I wrote that Western societies, obviously, do not fully understand the danger of what is happening and the risk of starting a real global war. I wrote then that the Western elites are capable of anything for their own purposes. Literally anything. I listed a number of factors, including that I would not be surprised if some major politician were suddenly killed as a result of an assassination attempt.

Sad and at the same time interesting events are happening now. Austrian politician Karin Kneissl declares that a murder is being prepared for her and is hiding from the country. Japanese politician Shinzo Abe was shot dead (of course, by a "loner-crazy", yep). It will not come as a surprise to me if other ex- (or possibly current) major politicians are assassinated. Security no longer exists, even for "like-minded people".

What goals are pursued by the forces behind the assassination of Abe, and how it all turns out, will become clear in the near future.

I recommend reading this.

P.S. The absolute failure of Abe's security service is evident.

Posted by: alaff | Jul 8 2022 14:33 utc | 2

Good riddance.

Posted by: Paperman | Jul 8 2022 14:39 utc | 3

Global power politics has had a Japan shaped hole for 70+ years. Not that it will benefit peace or stability, but Japan's rearmament and return to aggression, for the same reasons as the old Japanese Empire, are a given at some point as the American led structure it has hitherto been embedded in decays with American power. Perhaps this will remind Taiwan of who it is.

Posted by: Cesare | Jul 8 2022 14:41 utc | 4

Thats a relief but, who is next?

Posted by: Ralph Conner | Jul 8 2022 14:47 utc | 5

That wannabe imperial thread is alive and well in Japanese politics, albeit they need to paper over the most militaristic elements. Of course, there's the whole economic crisis of sanctions to muddy the waters. It'll be interesting to see whither Japan in the near future. Will they implode their economy over Ukraine like Europe? Launch the greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere 2.0? Invade the Kuriles? Stay tuned.

Posted by: Stephen T Johnson | Jul 8 2022 14:49 utc | 6

Japan has 47.8 tons of high sensitive separated plutonium, 10.8 tons of which are stored in Japan

Where are the other 37 tons stored?

Significant amounts of gold stored in foreign vaults has unaccountably "disappeared."
Showering a foreign nation with gold would have much different effect than a shower of plutonium. Who controls Japan's plutonium?

The other concern arises from the fact plutonium carries the "signature" of the plant in which it was created. If a foreign state holds Japan's plutonium then it has the possibility of creating a weapon which, when exploded, would implicate Japan.

Posted by: Sushi | Jul 8 2022 14:53 utc | 7

Yakuza, not Jakuza

Abe Shinzo wanted to prepare Japan for its future, change the pacifist constitution and necessarily remilitarise as a counter to China's expansionism.

There are 3 fundamental influences in Japanese culture.

1. Shinto
2. Buddhism
3. Confucianism.

1 and 3 require respect and "worshipping" of ancestors. It's a pan-asian cultural thing.

Visiting the Yakasuni Shrine is part of that. And no more out of order than (we) British visiting our war memorials. Every single country has done immoral things in the name of its national interest.

(Dresden, Firebombing of Tokyo, Hiroshima, Native American Indians genocide, Iraq war, Holdomor, Einsatzgrupen, etc. - the list of far too long. these are the more recent.

Posted by: Joe | Jul 8 2022 14:56 utc | 8

The cost of defeat for Japan in WWII was the destruction of Japanese culture. The 'westernization' of an eastern tradition has created a messed up society.

Hopefully with the demise of the Empire of Lies, the colonized and plundered can realize the original goal of the USA - self-governance.

Posted by: gottlieb | Jul 8 2022 14:57 utc | 9

Thanks so much for those clear explanations. Abe's was a mystery to me. Abe was elected to hisposition of Prime Ministes in 2012 shortly after Xi Jinping became the president of China. Xi showed much assertiveness after taking office and he had sent a Navy frigate claim possession of an island that is also claimed by Japan. So I got the impression at the time that Abe was the tough guy Japan had selected to face Xi expansionism. However I wondered why Japan didn't dissociate more from the US than it did under Abe's direction.

Posted by: Richard L | Jul 8 2022 15:00 utc | 10

From the late 1980s, the US plan was to dismantle the MITI-planned economy which had made Japan so successful. With the help of the neoliberal fellow-travellers of the Bank of Japan that fuelled a massive bubble then intentionally popped it and repeatedly undermined nascent economic recoveries (see the documentary "Princes of the Yen" on youtube). This was aided by US sanctions (some "mutually agreed") on cars and memory chips etc. and the massive revaluation of the Yen against the US dollar.

Abe, a neoliberal and a militarist, was phase 2. Plant all the blame on the Japanese state (covering the real BoJ and US economic aggression causes) and further destroy state management of the economy and ready Japan as a proper tool for US military aggression. Three decades of little to no growth, massive money creation to buy bonds and equities, and the slow destruction of Japan's constitutional disarmament followed. We must remember that Japan is an occupied nation, with 80,000 US military personnel plus the wide-ranging interference through the US embassy.

In 1990, Japanese GDP per capita PPP was close to that of the US, now it is far behind. It has also been overtaken by Korea, which was much poorer three decades ago. Chinese GDP per capita PPP is now half of Japan's, from being less than an eighth 30 years ago. In the past few years, Japan seems to have slipped from relative decline to absolute decline - with its demographics now flipping over into population decline (and an even faster decline in the working. age population).

China and Russia should treat Japan as an enemy, undermining its economy through greatly increased energy costs (and the destruction of the Japanese car manufacturers in China, then in Europe) should be a priority unless it demonstrates a change in attitude and policies. Same for South Korea, do not reward bad behaviour.

Posted by: Roger | Jul 8 2022 15:14 utc | 11

thanks b and the poster @ Joe | Jul 8 2022 14:56 utc | 8

my impression is japan has always been under a dominant usa influence since ww2..... maybe finances have something to do with it too..have they ever gotten out of the stagflation or whatever it is called, since the 90's? this abe fellow seems to have been a dominating political force right up until his death.. i wonder how this changes the equation any... my condolences to the japanese people...

Posted by: james | Jul 8 2022 15:19 utc | 12

"...Holdomor, Einsatzgrupen, etc. - the list of far too long. these are the more recent."
The Holodomor was a myth. It was an event that did not occur on this planet. It was originally invented by Goebbels, after the war it was taken up and developed, at Harvard largely, to assist in the nourishing of Ukrainian fascism.
The basic assertion of the Holodomor myth: that Ukraine was singled out by Moscow for famine is quite untrue, the famine in question was as bad or worse over western Russia and into Kazakhstan. The idea that the USSR wanted to weaken Ukraine is ridiculous, the idea that the Communist Party did this by refusing to relieve the famine is obscene.
It is an indication of the phony nature of this myth, designed to make Ukrainians hate Russians, that as we see daily the Russian army is welcomed where it liberates the people from Kiev rule. The only part of Ukraine which hates Russians is that part which, before 1945 was part of Polland sand before 1919 part of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 8 2022 15:20 utc | 13

@Posted by: Roger | Jul 8 2022 15:14 utc | 11

How could I not mention Koizumi, the true start of phase 2?! The first media-driven anti-state leader of Japan.

"The newly developed conservatism in Koizumi era is a combination of neo-liberal economic policy conservatism and the historical revisionist conservatism. The latter conservatism remained potential in Koizumi era because Koizumi himself was basically indifferent to those philosophical matters. Habatsu-dyamics and political philosophy of LDP had been closely connected each other. Competitions among Habatsu-functions among LDP made the political philosophy of LDP not to be extreme right or left. It means that Habatsu-functions had worked something like the break. But under the Koizumi regime, Habatsu-function weakened. Koizumi reform and his break down of Habatsu-dyanmics made some space for this new revisionist conservatism. This transformation of the philosophical conservatism is still continuing at the Abe administration and the aspect of the historical revisionist conservatism more clear in the Abe era as at the end of this paper analyzed."

Posted by: Roger | Jul 8 2022 15:20 utc | 14

Abe was the first to "quantitative easing " and kept Japan in 20 years of stagflation

Abe's grandfather was the "economic King" of the parts of China that Japan conquered before world War two.

If Abe had not propped up the US Dollar by artificially devaluing the Yen Japan would be far more prosperous instead
of "zombie companies" and decades of stagflation.

While Abe resigned for health reasons, he still ran the show from behind the scenes, and he is running thr Yan into the ground at an alarming clip

Posted by: Carl | Jul 8 2022 15:21 utc | 15

Japan got those Westinghouse reactors back in the day precisely because they could breed weapon grade plutonium if need be. That's why they got those reactors with that particular fuel rod design.

It appears the Pentagon learned something from the Cuban missile crisis.

Posted by: Inevitability | Jul 8 2022 15:22 utc | 16

@ Roger | Jul 8 2022 15:14 utc | 11

the documentary "Princes of the Yen" is excellent.. i too recommend it for someone wanting to understand japans economy and situation better..

Posted by: james | Jul 8 2022 15:22 utc | 17

@ bevin | Jul 8 2022 15:20 utc | 14

i missed the fact @ 8 joe had put The Holodomor in his list..

Posted by: james | Jul 8 2022 15:25 utc | 18

alaff @ 2

Can't open your link due to "local laws". This is the direction we are going.

"The absolute failure of Abe's security detail is evident." Failed or suborned? The only defense any leader has is to be popular. Even that was not enough for Ronald Reagan. Another good safeguard would be a gentleman's agreement not to use primitive methods for political ends. There are no honorable men left. Not in politics. It is open season like it or not.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 8 2022 15:33 utc | 19

my vote for storing/scattering ashes goes to this one:

funny...i saw a news report years ago about 3D printing cafes in japan and - as an american - my first thought was obviously "i wonder when people will start printing guns". attacking people with knives can get old after a while, after all.

but yeah, japan has been a massive historical asshole (as alluded to by the shrine i linked to) and seems pent up in the past few decades under what is basically US occupation. their economy is quite "meh" right now and we all know what imperial countries do when they need "stimulus".

Posted by: the pair | Jul 8 2022 15:43 utc | 20


He was a FORMER Prime Minister.

Most JPN Politicians come from Multi-Generational Powerful Families. Many participated in their Country's Wars.

Most Influential Families Do So in their Respective Countries.

The Shrine Issues are Irrelevant here and at present, complicated and unsolvable. It's a Private Entity, "A-Class Persons" were first excluded from it, then allowed into a Separate Section Years Later. The Dead are Dead. Visiting the Shrine doesn't necessarily mean that the Visitor Condones Every Evil Act Done by the Interned.

Cancel Culture or BLM/AntiFa won't take in JPN and most Rational Nation-States.

That being said, I personally don't agree with the "Class A" and others who committed "Acts Generally Interpreted as War Crimes" being Interned in Yasukini. The Emperors have Addressed the Public outside of Yasukini but have not entered there for Decades.

The Fact that the "Militarized Oligarchy" and Military Pulled Off a Coup which put them in Administrative Power while Propping Up the Emperor complicated the PostWar Political Scenario. Add in MacArthur fiddling with the PostWar Constitution+the Occupation for the Present ClusterFrack.

What of FDR who provoked the Pearl Harbor Attack - knowing that it was in the works Months before which could have been stopped by exposure/confrontation/engagement? What of Truman and the 2 Nuclear Fission Bombs Used upon Cities when JPN were petitioning the Conditions of SURRENDER for 3 MONTHS prior? Murican-Brittanian Exploitation of CHN+IND via the Western Occupation/OpiumWars that lasted OVER A CENTURY?

Seeing "War Criminals" through AngloMurican Eyes Much?


That being said, Mister Abe did speak out against Zelenskyy and UKR - blaming UKR for provoking the War.

It's unfortunate to see Mister Abe Die from the Assassination (MD PressConf - Heart Heavily Damaged from Gunshots); but I'm concerned as to the Shooter's Motives and Associates. He's a JMSDF Veteran who served out his Term 20 years ago. There is a need to see if there were Enablers.

Why? I wouldn't put it past Kolomoiskyy and Zelenskyy to Pull this Off. In Part to Abe and Other "Neutral/Non-Supportive" Politicians and Business Leaders - Zelenskyy + UKR Refugees rcvd a Lukewarm Reception in spite of the Media Propaganda. The Talking Heads in JPN are starting to claim "Ukraine/Zelenskyy Fatigue", losing enthusiasm on "Refugees" who should be sent back, and are expected to start getting off the Fan Club Bandwagon and admitting that the RUS+Secessionist Forces - have been and still are - overcoming UKRainian Forces and Foreign Mercs+Weapons.

Biden/Blinken/Nudelman-Khagan/Soros-Schwartz/Kolomoiskyy-Zelenskyy. These have the Motives.

Posted by: IronForge | Jul 8 2022 15:52 utc | 21

Posted by: Joe | Jul 8 2022 14:56 utc | 8

"Visiting the Yakasuni Shrine is part of that. And no more out of order than (we) British visiting our war memorials. Every single country has done immoral things in the name of its national interest."

Exactly, though I gather it was controversial to some. Fact is that Japan deserves to have a sense of pride and strength as any nation. Same goes for Germany which needs to climb out of the guilt-ridden trench they were pushed into eight decades ago. Enough already!

Because overly weak nations are also dangerous. They invite predators who feed on their weakness and become a more dangerous and corrupting influence to others. They can fester resentment and negativity until it bursts forth in toxic ways. No, nations should be strong and uplifted. The Japanese have much to be proud about. One of the great peoples and cultures in this our world.

And again: as do the Germans. If there is one thing I'm praying for with all this SMO business is that Germany finally grows a pair, gets out from under the US, sheds its guilt complex and then leads Europe out of their vassalage as well. A consummation devoutly to be wished.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 8 2022 15:56 utc | 22

1. Abe tried to maintain the cordial relationship with Russia.
2. Although Abe was anti China, he had had no intention of making Japan cannon fodder ala Ukraine in the US war against China.

Enough said.

Posted by: cindy6 | Jul 8 2022 16:01 utc | 23

@Joe #8:

Every single country has done immoral things in the name of its national interest.

(Dresden, Firebombing of Tokyo, Hiroshima, Native American Indians genocide, Iraq war, Holdomor, Einsatzgrupen, etc. - the list of far too long. these are the more recent.

The Soviet famine of 1932–33 is not an “immoral thing done in the name of national interest” because it was not caused on purpose. The allegation that it was (“Holodomor”) is a myth invented by Goebbels and promulgated by Ukrainian Nationalists and later by Western anti-Communist propaganda.

Posted by: S | Jul 8 2022 16:04 utc | 24

I want to use b's piece on Abe to introduce you all to a wonderful, knowledgeable Dutch public intellectual, former very prominent journalist and long-term correspondent from Japan (about which he has written books) - Karel van Wolferen.
I recommend the reading his old "Jottings', in particular "The Havoc and Fantasy of "Full-Spectrum Dominance (26.09.2014). It starts so:
The American-triggered regime change in Ukraine at the Western end of the Eurasian continent has been widely discussed. Less noticed, if at all, has been the American-triggered change of government in Japan four years ago as part of the so-called ‘pivot’ aimed at holding back China on the Eastern end. The two ought to be considered together, since they share a purpose known as ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’.
Take a look at his essays on Japan:
but also on The US in the World:
The first one, written in 2003, is titled: "The End of American hegemony"
In "Jottings" in 2017: "NATO is a Monstrous Insitution".

Wolferen was removed from Amsterdam University for beeing a truth-teller about the Covid "pandemic".He is now the editor-in-chief of a rare,independent publication called "Common Sense (Gezond verstand) which tells it as it is. (Thank goodness!). When every new issue goes to print, he gives a video summary of its contents, unfortunately only in Dutch. I am interested in his thoughts on Abe.

Posted by: JB | Jul 8 2022 16:04 utc | 25

Global Times currently has two articles on this event, "Abe remembered in China as controversial figure who 'ruined own contribution to bilateral ties'" and "Japan's ex-leader Shinzo Abe dies from gunshot, 'biggest political incident in post-WWII Japan'", and then there's this article related to his legacy, "Exclusive: Japanese, US militaries plot to deploy mid-range missiles in Japan’s SW islands".

The assassin's politics are as yet unknown, the motive could be from either side of the political spectrum and will likely cause controversy if they become known. The initial statement released by Russia's MFA spokeswoman Maria Zakharova surprised me because of the assessment made:

We are stunned by the news about the tragedy that occurred in Japan today – the assassination attempt on former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

We are convinced that those who planned and committed this heinous crime will be duly held accountable for this act of terrorism, which cannot and cannot be justified.

We know Shinzo Abe as an outstanding politician who made an invaluable contribution to the development of Russian-Japanese relations in all areas by building mutual trust and good-neighbourliness.

We hope that the doctors will do everything possible to save his life. We sincerely wish S. Abe a speedy stabilization of his condition and recovery, and his wife Akie Abe, relatives and friends - to preserve the strength of spirit and not to lose hope.

Abe's legacy as noted in the last of the GT articles further puts Japan under the boot of the Outlaw US Empire and his Neoliberalism has ruined many and of course failed to rejuvenate Japan's economy. Some barflies will have read the series of articles posted at Saker's about Japan's colonial plight, and it is indeed serious and a threat to East Asian peace.

Lavrov was asked at the G-20 presser about Abe's murder and stated:

"I don't know what is behind this assassination attempt. I learned about what happened during the meeting of the Group of Twenty, and was the first to begin my speech by expressing condolences to my Japanese colleague in connection with the incident. There will probably be an investigation. I have nothing more to add."

And that's all I have on this event. How China sees it and how it further unfolds will continue to play out into next week. The greatest impact will be on domestic Japanese politics.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 8 2022 16:08 utc | 26

Sushi #7, mentioned in the link provided "37 tons stored in France and UK".

Posted by: annie | Jul 8 2022 16:08 utc | 27

Say what you will about Abe, he died doing what he loved.

Posted by: too scents | Jul 8 2022 16:27 utc | 28

Posted by: Roger | Jul 8 2022 15:14 utc | 11

What is "MITI"? I can infer only that it doesn't have the forename "Walter." 8^)

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 8 2022 16:42 utc | 29

@Roger11 @James18 - the link to said documentary (featuring Prof Richard Werner) is here:

Posted by: Tel | Jul 8 2022 17:01 utc | 30

Abe is not a Nationalist, that’s crazy stupid talk. He’s a US deep state patsy as have been all the neutered Japanese leadership since WWII. Japan is demilitarizing at the direction of the US, involves a huge amount of US earphone purchases to boot.

Posted by: ctemple | Jul 8 2022 17:08 utc | 31

Posted by: annie | Jul 8 2022 16:08 utc | 28

Thanks for the heads-up. The document at the link is excellent and detailed.
Was reading b's latest and doing other things at same time. Always a mistake.

Posted by: Sushi | Jul 8 2022 17:10 utc | 32

The shrine

I don't see the shrine or visiting the shrine as a problem, I would do so myself.

The crimes are to me a separate and entirely valid issue.

I am not 100% sure if the Chinese and Korean positions are misrepresented in "the west" but it is not unlikely that they are; for "western journalism" (including Japan) it is too easy to blunt the issue by diverting attention onto the shrine (who afaik has the purpose of being all-inclusive without any kind of exception) and any visit there rather than the horrible crimes against humanity committed by the worst of the Japanese.

It's so bad that even mentioning or talking about the shrine (like this comment does) feels like it already diverts attention from the facts :(

- - -


What is important from my point of view is that the shrine and visits and any differences of understanding of the past (correct or incorrect) should not hinder the development of genuine friendly relations between all Asian nations and in particular Russia, China, Korea (both and as one), and Japan, although the fundamental errors of Japanese imperialism reached much further into almost every far eastern and south eastern Asian nation.

Yes the Japanese saw themselves as benevolent in their propaganda and no matter how many may have believed it they were of course wrong. The lesson from that is (or should be) universal.

- - -

Abe and militarism vs pacifism

Some people would try to undo the past in whatever little manner they could. There are different ways of attempting that and success is never guaranteed. If it applies to Abe or not is uncertain to me. I am aware some contemporary Japanese saw him as a straight up monster no different than his worst relatives and maybe they're right.

I do not know enough to say.

It seems clear that Japanese constitutional pacifism can not work without external "protection"/abuse (currently US).

- - -

OT: thank you Juliania, I'm happy if it amused anyone :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jul 8 2022 17:26 utc | 33

alaff @2
I would not be surprised if some major politician were suddenly killed as a result of an assassination attempt.

I would not cry if Trudeau was one of them

Many in Canada wish him dead

Posted by: ld | Jul 8 2022 17:34 utc | 34

As we enter the new multi-polar world, of course Japan will build nuclear weapons.

Posted by: Wobblie | Jul 8 2022 14:32 utc | 1

it may well need to to protect itself from the US, which blew up two of its cities and has occupied it for over 75 years now.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 8 2022 17:40 utc | 35

B, you mean Japanese Class A war criminals. There were a lot of war criminals on the winning side who were never convicted but managed to die happily in their beds at an advanced age.

Posted by: Manage without me | Jul 8 2022 17:54 utc | 36

You have to love the irony of the US building up Japan as a "counterweight" to China only to discover that Japan is by far a bigger threat than China ever would be or intended to be.

Although perhaps it isn't really irony if even the blind could see it coming a mile away.

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 8 2022 17:57 utc | 37

from the NYT, announcing its interest in Abe:
"Shinzo Abe helped pull his country out of economic malaise and aimed to normalize Japan’s military."

Shinzo Abe, Japan's Longest-Serving Prime Minister, Dies at 67
Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving Japanese prime minister, who made it his political mission to vanquish his country's wartime ghosts but fell .

The New York Times ON 2022-07-08 11:36
"Shinzo Abe made it his political mission to vanquish his country’s wartime ghosts."
oh yeah, every country did immoral things, and there's lots of things, like the Godzilla franchise, that Japan can be proud of.

so who should be concerned at the revival of japanese militarism? it's a proud tradition!

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jul 8 2022 18:00 utc | 38

Not sure what to say about Abe, so RIP. He was a friend of Putin. Seems not enough credit given on this very important point.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 8 2022 18:02 utc | 39

@Joe #8, @IronForge #22

In Japan, "former" leaders sometimes have more power than current leaders. They rule from the shadows.

I personally would visit Yasukuni, both to see an important site and to show respect for the nation of Japan. All countries respect ancestors who did some pretty awful things. And the importance of ancestors in East Asian cultures makes it difficult for people in Japan to reject even the worst of theirs.

But I think it is perfectly reasonable for Chinese to be extremely unhappy when Japanese political figures visit the place. Japan invaded China in the 1930s-40s and killed tens of millions of Chinese. And Japanese people, especially members of its ruling class like Mr. Abe, continue to look down on China and show pride in the aggressive Japan of their grandfathers.

Our own ignorance of our ancestors' war crimes is a separate issue, but an important one. I think it reasonable to show respect for the nasty people who built our countries, but we should also recognize the bad things they did. Such as the devastating and unnecessary firebombing of civilian areas of Tokyo in March 1945.

Another separate issue is Chinese "expansionism." I reject this idea. I see Chinese foreign policy as defensive. The US and its allies, such as Japan, continue to surround and harry China at all points and in all ways.

China has good reason to claim Taiwan, which was stolen by Japan in 1895 and kept separate from China by the US after 1945.

The Senkaku/Diaoyu islands are specifically not owned by Japan, just left by the US to Japan to "administer," with the idea that there would be negotiations over them between Japan and China, negotiations which Japan refuses to engage in.

The South China Sea rocks/islands are also not recognized as belonging to anybody. The SCS is a patchwork of overlapping claims by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, et al. China feels it has a claim by virtue of historical use by Chinese traders and fishermen, and Chinese settlements on islands and shores. And, most significantly, China has a need to defend itself from ships of the US Navy that use the SCS, which is not only close to important parts of China, but is the main route by which oil supplies reach China from the Middle East.

Our media simply accept Indian claims that China is expanding in the Himalaya, something China denies. I personally am not sure what the real situation is there.

Posted by: Islander2 | Jul 8 2022 18:05 utc | 40

That shotgun is suspicious.
It looks a little bit too obviously home-made, with loose duct-tape end hanging off of it.

Posted by: Platero | Jul 8 2022 18:10 utc | 41

Who knows whether Abe was a "friend of Putin" ? Does it matter? The important thing was that he was not, as his successor and the new President of south Korea appear to be, a kneejerk retainer of the Uncle Sam War show. Which was refreshing. As suggested above the Jack Ruby, in this drama is probably on his way to Tokyo as we speak.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 8 2022 18:22 utc | 42

Lat to the party, picture about BoJo:

Posted by: Arioch | Jul 8 2022 18:28 utc | 43

Platero | Jul 8 2022 18:10 utc | 42
i'm going to assume you are an American, whereby other countries' DIY firearms look "suspicious". plus these weapons make mass shooting more difficult, which is very unamerican. what's the point of going to the trouble of making a gun if one can't use it to spray a group of people w/bullets? and target just ONE person? this killer wouldn't even make the local news in the US, except that the POS killed was "important" as far as bourgeois values are concerned. values like ignoring Fukushima and buying weapons from the US.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jul 8 2022 18:38 utc | 44

"We know Shinzo Abe as an outstanding politician who made an invaluable contribution to the development of Russian-Japanese relations in all areas by building mutual trust and good-neighbourliness."

good that russians have mastered the art of licking someone else's brownhole.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jul 8 2022 19:03 utc | 45

tory blair of the corporation of london was on the radio saying what a great man of the corporation of japan
the crown corporation front the queen also commented in sadness
seems like abe had some very good money printing friends all very eyes wide shut

Posted by: norman wisdom | Jul 8 2022 19:06 utc | 46

"Japan has 47.8 tons of high sensitive separated plutonium., 10.8 tons of which are stored in Japan, enough to make 1350 nuclear warheads. In addition, Japan also has about 1.2 tons of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) for research reactors."
Nice, both enriched uranium AND plutonium. I tend to think that plutonium is the easier path to nuclear weapons, has any country other than the U.S. ever taken the enriched uranium to atom bomb route?

And we are upset w/Iran who agreed to forsake their heavy water reactor and ship whatever plutonium waste they would have out of the country. Iran also agreed to intrusive limits to their nuclear program.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 8 2022 19:10 utc | 47

There is very very little coverage about the killer's motives. I'm sure that if the killer had some kind of connection to China, Russia or North Korea western MSM would have went in overdrive the second the bullet hit Abe's body. The lack of coverage usually means the motive is inconvenient. To me the killer seems like a well prepared radical and not an Oswald patsy part of some conspiracy.

I read an assertion ( that the motive of the killer could have been Abe's stance on US bases whereas former prime minister Abe never tried to limit US presence on Japanese soil but on the contrary allowed even more US occupation troops in. There's a lot of resentment in Japan against those US occupation troops... unsurprisingly since they did perform 2 live nuclear tests on the country and those US occupation troops crawling Japan are not exactly well mannered nor invited.

Posted by: xor | Jul 8 2022 19:22 utc | 48

This assassination seems too convenient for the globalist war party to be a coincidence.
Watch closely in the coming weeks for Japanese politicians to begin blathering about the injustice of the northern Russian occupied islands.

Posted by: Northern Observer | Jul 8 2022 19:27 utc | 49

Why was Abe killed and what group backed the assassin?

Was the purpose internal to Japan or is there a connection to the bigger geopolitical goings on?

I agree with others that have written that other political puppets in other countries may perish and maybe BoJo is getting off easy.

Japan is a colony of empire and its banking system has/is being used as a catchment of US Treasuries and an attempt to discredit MMT by somewhat associated use. And then there are the nukes like Fukushima that are set to poison the whole region of the world.

Japan is just one of the cards in the house of them that is current tottering late empire. Empire is not about cultural Marxism or any other socialist/capitalist/communist tags commenters here keep writing about. Its about private control of the global system of finance which buys and maintains all the puppets like Abe and BoJo. China and other countries are challenging that social model by having public finance at the core of being sovereign.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 8 2022 19:32 utc | 50

If Abe was thinking of standing again, one relevant comment he made:

"Zelensky's decisions led to outbreak of war in Ukraine"

That crosses so many lines for the war-mongering Russophobes running the west.

Posted by: Arfur Mo | Jul 8 2022 19:45 utc | 51

Yeah, everyone breath a sigh of relief there.

More sign of US empire rule falling.

Long time no post, btw!

Posted by: Smith | Jul 8 2022 20:00 utc | 52

Statement by PM Trudeau on the Assassination of Former PM Shinzo Abe

"He was a dedicated, visionary leader and a close friend of Canada...You'll be missed, my friend."

Birds of a feather...

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jul 8 2022 20:01 utc | 53

Interesting that you missed perhaps the most interesting statement by Abe.

Former Japanese PM: Zelensky’s Decisions Led to Outbreak of War in Ukraine

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 8 2022 20:03 utc | 54

"Challenge: Explain away Prime Minister Abe’s Boxing Day visit to the Yasukuni Shrine."

There is no challenge. These ba$tards know that most people know $hit about them and what they represent, so they do it. This has been going on for far too many years to make it seem novel. Sort of like Bandera and the "Failed State"

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jul 8 2022 20:13 utc | 55

Kishida was a lot hampered by Abe, even his New capitalism white paper was revised because it criticized Abenomics.

Now that Abe is gone, we will see Kishida having more breathing room.

For the first time ever since Abe took power, we might see some changes in Japan politics.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 8 2022 20:19 utc | 56

Good riddance to Shinzo Abe, and a hearty cheer to his assassin. Just like the messianic Talmudic Pharisees infecting the collective West, Abe was an ethnic supremacist, and thus, deserving of a painful death.

Posted by: Jim | Jul 8 2022 20:20 utc | 57

The assassination is barely newsworthy, where I live (in NATO+). Tells you something. How will the Japanese react, one wonders. More bowing and submission, I guess.

Posted by: veto | Jul 8 2022 20:20 utc | 58

Posted by: Joe | Jul 8 2022 14:56 utc | 8

Tossing in the Holodomor with the rest of that list is disingenuous at worst, historically inaccurate/incomplete at best. Negligence isn't the same as intentional savagery.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jul 8 2022 20:22 utc | 59

Russian FM statement on Abe should not surprise. During Abe's time there was reasonable hope for the signing of a peace treaty, finally.It seemed that relations were warming up.
Here is part of a Tass news piece:
In November 2018, during a meeting in Singapore, Russian President Vladimir Putin and then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to boost negotiations on a peace treaty based on the
Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration of 1956, which ended war and restored diplomatic ties between the two countries. According to the document, the USSR expressed its readiness to hand over the island of Shikotan and some uninhabited islands of the Lesser Kuril Chain to Japan after signing a peace treaty.
For decades, Moscow and Tokyo have been holding consultations in order to clinch a peace treaty as a follow-up to World War II. The southern Kuril Islands issue remains the key sticking point. In 1945, the whole archipelago was handed over to the Soviet Union. Tokyo laid claims to Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and a group of uninhabited islands. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly stated that Moscow’s sovereignty over the islands is enshrined in international law and cannot be called into question.
- This March Russia terminated the peace talks because of Japan's sanctions over Ukraine.
- On 22 April Peskov said that the four islands in the southern part of the Kuril Ridge are an integral part of the territory of the Russian Federation, commenting on the Japanese Foreign Ministry's designation of the southern part of the Kuril Islands as "illegally occupied".

Posted by: JB | Jul 8 2022 20:37 utc | 60

There may be an opportunity for the US to exploit Shinzo Abe's death in a way calculated to create a rift between Russia and China. Moscow appears to have quite a positive attitude towards him, even despite the difficulties over the Kuril islands' status; as for Beijing, the response to his death is likely to be polite, expressing condolences, but no more.

Incidentally Abe was shot while he was participating in a political campaign. These events seem to bring out the more eccentric and wacky elements in Japanese society. It is not impossible that whoever killed Abe really was a loner with extremist ultra-nationalist tendencies, unhappy at Abe's opinions regarding Zelensky's decisions or his building bridges with Russia while PM. Then again, there is the possibility that the US is unhappy with Abe in some way and does not want to see him back as PM.

Abe's long tenure as PM may be due in part to the Japanese political establishment's respect for his grandfather Nobosuke Kishi for rigging Japanese politics in a way (back in the 1950s) so that the Liberal Democratic Party would always dominate conservative politics and conservative coalition govts. Japan could always give the appearance of short-lived coalition govts and the constant exercise of "voter democracy" when the reality was that the Liberal Democratic Party was always the leading party in these govts and could pursue long-term goals aimed at keeping socialists out of power for a long time.

Kishi was quite the puppet master of his time, having governed Japan's Manchukuo colony in northeast China and overseeing various war crimes such as the establishment of the Unit 731 bioweapons laboratory by Shiro Ishii.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 8 2022 20:52 utc | 61

JB @61--

The problem for Russia attaining a peace treaty with Japan is very well known to those following the issue--Japan's occupation by the Outlaw US Empire renders it a colony, not a sovereign nation, meaning its policies are not under its own control, but those of an enemy. Yes, Abe expressed interest in finding a solution, but so did all the preceding PMs. His other moves, particularly those in Okinawa, exposed his real intentions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 8 2022 20:53 utc | 62

The same nation(s) who did the Sept. 11th false flag "terrorist" attacks are highly likely to be the perpetrator of other terrorist attacks around the world--including possibly this Abe assassination.

This would have to be a country that not only has the means, motive, and opportunity to perpetrate attacks like this one but also a country that dominates the international media system such that it would never be questioned as a perpetrator of this or other crimes that it is guilty of.

Now, who could that be?

Posted by: ak74 | Jul 8 2022 21:06 utc | 63

@48 asks who appart from the US based their nuclear weapons on enriched Uranium. South African ones used only U in a Hiroshima gun type device. The first UK megaton class weapon deployed was a massive all fission U235 implosion design.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Jul 8 2022 21:18 utc | 64

karlof1 | Jul 8 2022 20:53 utc | 63
Even so, Russia praises acts, officials or official statements of other countries when they allign or support Russia's national interests. Obviously, Abe was important to Russia's national interests. I remember the positive tone emerging, or building up, between the two countries in Abe's time precisely because it was unusual.
Russian foreign policy is not influenced or guided by internal/domestic policies of other states.
Neither is Chinese foreign policy. It is the US and the EU+ the other 'eyes', that ponitificate, sanction and bomb countries allegedly due to those countires' internal transgressions which are unbearable to the US/EU innate democratic sensibility. Right.

Posted by: JB | Jul 8 2022 21:19 utc | 65

If it is true that Abe spoke out against Z and Ukraine then maybe his death removed that voice and made it clear to the current politicians in Japan where the lines are not to cross for empire in decline.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 8 2022 21:38 utc | 66

psychohistorian | Jul 8 2022 21:38 utc | 67

This is the quote:
“Maybe the war could have been avoided if Zelensky had been forced to pledge that his country would not join NATO, or had been forced to grant a high degree of autonomy to Luhansk and Donetsk in the east,” Abe noted, according to ‘The Economist’.
Moreover, the former Japanese PM added that US President Joe Biden could influence Zelensky to change his position.(29.05.2022, Sada ElBalad English) It would be better to find the quote in The Economist.
So, a little over one month after this statement, Abe is assassinated. If he was the prime behind-the scenes mover in Japanese politics, as alleged, involvement or instigation of the Empire can not be excluded.

Posted by: JB | Jul 8 2022 21:52 utc | 67

Japan is such a small country geographically and is an island. It won't take much to wipe out the entire Japan should they remotely think about pursuing a nuclear weapons path. Both North Korea and China have much historical reasons to even the score for WW2.

As to Abe, well he is probably joining the rest of his fellow warlords in the hell!

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 8 2022 22:18 utc | 68

Sometime during the Bill Clinton misadministration (1980s) I was a hot young political activist. Clinton was about to (and then in fact did) sell something like 67 tons of pure plutonium to Japan. I wrote a letter to the big local paper, which they published, stating that this plan was simply stark raving insane. Some people subsequently wrote letters stating that I was a racist bigot for my opposition to this. I recall phrases like "of his ilk", etc. Plutonium can be used as a nuclear fuel, as was the case at Fukushima. However it's the perfect ingredient if you wish to manufacture nuclear bombs. Well, Clinton sold it to them anyway. Well, I did make an effort.

-- formerly 'blues' --

Posted by: rkjoyce | Jul 8 2022 22:22 utc | 69

too scents #29

Say what you will about Abe, he died doing what he loved.

Yep, bleeding people to death.

The class structure in Japan is just a jolly old pyramid I guess.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 8 2022 22:43 utc | 70

@ 62 Jen - Thanks for bringing up Unit 731. For sure class A war criminals. The book, A Higher Form of Killing, goes into their grisly deeds in detail.

Here's a tune for the MoA jukebox.

New Face in Hell - The Fall

Posted by: lex talionis | Jul 8 2022 22:44 utc | 71

I observe reports that the saker is down - like so many others have reported over at the Ukraine thread.

BUT NOT THIS THREAD... odd that eh.

Could all those obsessing over their deprivation just leave us to discover the status of that site.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 8 2022 22:48 utc | 72

Posted by: Roger | Jul 8 2022 15:14 utc | 11

From the late 1980s, the US plan was to dismantle the MITI-planned economy which had made Japan so successful. With the help of the neoliberal fellow-travellers of the Bank of Japan that fuelled a massive bubble then intentionally popped it and repeatedly undermined nascent economic recoveries (see the documentary "Princes of the Yen" on youtube). This was aided by US sanctions (some "mutually agreed") on cars and memory chips etc. and the massive revaluation of the Yen against the US dollar.

I was just watching this video by Asianometry:

How America Won Back Semiconductors from Japan - June 27, 2022

It is about US protectionism and economic war in the 1980s.

(See also the previous part: How Japan Learned Semiconductors.)

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jul 8 2022 23:04 utc | 73

Perhaps the Japanese people's annual Kanamara Festival will exhibit more vigor following the departure of another dynastic parasite.

The Japanese people deserve better than this system of USA colonised exploitative capitalism. Yes Abe seemed more liberal minded on small things but his cosy up to Russia over the status of the Kuriles, no matter how well intentioned, was sure to anger the USA.

The empire of lies will not tolerate an independent Japan - it is their captive possession for missile launching and airstrips, just like the UK and NATO.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 8 2022 23:13 utc | 74

Joe #8


You 'correct' b regarding spelling of Jakuza then in the next line get "Abe Shinzo" name reversed, then at the end you can't spell holodomor.

Then you totally omitted Palestine slaughter decades in the doing.

Langley has a failed training program these days, maybe its run by the expat Lvov crowd.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 8 2022 23:26 utc | 75

The shooter must have used shot gun slugs with one central bullet not shot shells loaded with pellets - otherwise I don't know how others could not have been injured. The first shot doesn't seem to do anything from my observation of the many videos that came out after the event. It's second one that makes its mark. Maybe others have seen other videos since that could confirm this (or not).

The conservative party (LDP) that Abe was in has been in power almost continuously since 1955 after the end of WWII, with only about 6 years of rule from an opposition party. Japan has been pretty much a one party state with a succession of LDP prime ministers. I have read that the CIA intervened to make sure there was no socialist left leaning party right from the beginning. Plenty of information on that on the internet.

Posted by: George | Jul 8 2022 23:38 utc | 76

@ bevin | Jul 8 2022 15:20 utc | 14

Lev Kopolev was one of the commissars who took away the grain form the starving peasants. In his autobiography he did not feel any remorse. Like Madeleine Albright, he also said:"It was necessary to kill people/children." Yuri Slezkine, 2005, page 230 gives us the view of Kopolev, as he quotes Kopolev: “You must not give in to debilitating pity. We are the agents of historical necessity. We are fulfilling our revolutionary duty. We are procuring grain for our socialist fatherland. For the five year plan.”
See also:

Posted by: Hugo Jansen | Jul 9 2022 0:18 utc | 77

I observe reports that the saker is down - like so many others have reported over at the Ukraine thread. BUT NOT THIS THREAD... odd that eh. Could all those obsessing over their deprivation just leave us to discover the status of that site. Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 8 2022 22:48 utc | 73

Maybe because that's the war room and this is not?

And I'd attribute that obsession to the Article 5 of the blogosphere "An attack on one is an attack on all".
I'm sure if anytime MoA needs the same mobilization, we will get it :)

Posted by: Ricardo Ramirez | Jul 9 2022 0:21 utc | 78

I read all the comments and shake my head. Collectively they reflect the same human frailties and false belief in one's own viewpoint and using myopic filters generated from past mistakes. We are all doomed to keep making these if we continue to act in the same way. Confrontation and greed are at fault with those in power. Laziness and apathy with the rest of us.

Posted by: Oz | Jul 9 2022 0:33 utc | 79

The shrine as some casually put it is a monument to Japanese Nazi war criminals. Even Germany was not allowed a Nazis war memorial.
When Abe visited it, China told their people and Chinese stopped buying Japanese cars and goods for 1 year. The lost was 450 billion.

If Abe was in power, it is highly likely that he would have followed the same orders as kish Ida's . They are run by USA and have no say over their economy or military, just like south Korea.

Roger@11, Chinese GDP is not half of Japan. China 's GDP is the largest in the entire world .

Abe was friendly with Russia when things were more quiet.All these western fools believe that somehow you can drive some fantasy wedge between china and Russia.

Keep quoting MSM nonsense and see your world unraveling. Japan like Europe is in a mass of economic disaster and so is God bless even though somewhat better.

But God bless got to bail out their puppets but printing 5.6 trillion over 2 years. Good luck.

Posted by: Karl luck | Jul 9 2022 0:57 utc | 80

By the time I was twenty I had lived in three different countries, and now the fourth one being China, all of whom bore the traces of Japanese cruelties, from brutal massacres, slaying of women and children, enslaving women to service the armies sexually while chained to their beds. To this day Japan has never formally apologised to any of the countries they have destroyed, atoned for their sins, nor even admitted to the existence of comfort women. And you wonder why many kicked up a fuss with the Yakusuni Shrine. It’s a reverence to cruelties of the highest degree.

Posted by: bonks | Jul 9 2022 1:14 utc | 81

I doubt that I supported as much as 5% of what Shinzo Abe stood for, but he was an effective leader to his country, and sincere. He was too independent from the Hegemon. He was on good terms with both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. As we watched the sudden announcement of an attack on Abe at lunch, it was about 30 minutes later that a statement from Trump was relayed. Putin made a statement that was not relayed until much later. Nine hours later, there was still no word out of Biden (i.e., his handlers). Lone crazed gunman who just happens to have military training and can make his own zip gun (they don't even let servicemen undergoing Jieitai training actually shoot a gun, they have to shout "bang bang!" I kid you not), and the policeman guarding Abe from behind abandoning his post right after Abe started speaking. My husband says the whole thing stinks of the CIA. I see it as a message to Kishida and other top Japanese governmental officials to watch their step and not try anything that lacks Natostan backing.
If people like Abe engage in acts like visiting Yasukuni Shrine on official business guaranteed to piss all their neighbors off, that is because somebody or other wants that. Divide and what was it?

Posted by: Patricia A. Ormsby | Jul 9 2022 1:19 utc | 82

An anti China ally of Trump, and a nationalist
Abe had a target on his back.

Posted by: Cadence Calls | Jul 9 2022 1:25 utc | 83

@ 86 PAO - That is interesting. Thank you! I am glad that I, too, can have interesting conversation with my wife.
I wonder if he 3d printed the weapon. That would add a little Langley sauce to the ignored meal of the day.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jul 9 2022 1:29 utc | 84

The chinese take on Abe's death and what's next for Japan's politics.

As it stands, PM Fumio Kishida remains the most benefitted out of his death since he can take down Abe's faction in the LDP and can maintain 3 years until the next election.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 9 2022 1:39 utc | 85

Posted by: George | Jul 8 2022 23:38 utc | 78

There was a very active Japanese Socialist party up until about 1985, but it died completely at about that time. I once wrote an essay on the subject, comparing the JSP with the ALP and the rise of the Japanese Democratic Socialist party, with devastating effect, just as the DLP almost did to the ALP.

The other possibly significant factor was the rise of the Sokka Gakai movement. This mob are very, very very, rich. I have not studied the details for some time.

Posted by: watcher | Jul 9 2022 1:40 utc | 86

It is perhaps hard to remember that in 1980 or so Japan was regarded by the US as a major threat to their economy. Hundreds of books/articles were written on the topic. The mood was very similar to that currently pushed about China.

Then Japan seemed to go into voluntary stagnation. No longer a rising power or a threat in any way. I imagine the USA put a lot of pressure on many people.

Posted by: watcher | Jul 9 2022 1:44 utc | 87

Abe was incompetent, so the people surrounding the United States and the people were just easy to use.

Japan was destroyed by Koizumi and Abe.

The eight years he served as prime minister was the worst for Japan.

Posted by: nosuhiro | Jul 9 2022 1:47 utc | 88

Finally a guy who knows Japan's politics.
The best modern Japan minister is Yukio Hatoyama, and he was immediately removed by the LDP when he apologized to chinese in Nanjing and went to Crimea to certify the referendum.

Before that it was Kakuei Tanaka (removed by the Lockheed scandal) and Inejiro Asanuma (assassinated by a right wing kid hired by CIA).

Posted by: Smith | Jul 9 2022 1:51 utc | 89

In Canada, during the election campaign of 2019, there was a threat against Trudeau and he eventually appeared at a rally in a bulletproof vest. ( )

At the time, I read through the Twitter accounts of several Canadian defence/security reporters and they all seemed to point their attention, subtly and carefully, to the south of the border. Which led me to ask: if someone anywhere on the globe wanted to assassinate the prime minister of Canada, could he/she/they try to do it without the okay of the president of the USA? It seems the answer is no. So it’s either the president of the USA or someone else with the President’s blessing who gets to try to assassinate Canada’s prime ministers.

Which leads to Japan. Whose approval is required in order to assassinate the former prime minister like that? The Emperor I’d suspect? What about the president of the US? And if that kind of an assassination is happening in Asia, what about China? If the proper approvals were not gathered in advance, we should expect to see some major backlash.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jul 9 2022 2:18 utc | 90

Hatoyama was utterly inept, a naive idealist with no conception of how politics is played on a Machiavellian level. I liked Hatoyama but I respected Abe; the two of them at least shared a rare trait among Japanese leaders in that they attempted to impose their personal beliefs on the system rather than merely adhering to the rule of the bureaucrats and kuromaku.

Regarding Abe's position as 'ultra' nationalist. He was only as nationalist as any typical right-wing/conservative figure in mainstream US or EU politics and was very far from the 'far right' (though he certainly courted the uyoku votes as do all jimintou).

People on this site are well aware of the power of propaganda when related to issues they are familiar with. Consider that post WWII the history of the war (inside and outside of Japan) was strictly controlled by the USA. In both Korea and China, post-War leaders used anti-Japanese rhetoric and propaganda to rally the populace for nationalist causes. In Japan itself left-wing academics, journalists and politicians were rabidly anti-militarist and supported propaganda against their own country, especially in the early 90s when the US heavily supported a new wave of Japan-bashing aimed at limiting its economic expansion and preventing any East Asian detente between the Koreas, China and Japan (a nightmare scenario for the USA).

When I first came to Japan I very much embraced this rhetoric and considered Abe and his kind xenophobic, imperialist fossils and guilty of historical revisionism of the worst kinds. However, actually looking into the arguments of historians on the Japanese right (some of whom are blinkered fanatics and some of whom are competent and balanced professionals) I found that many of their claims were supported by deliberately obscured and ignored facts. Some things, like Unit 731, remained hideous atrocities; others, like the Nanjing Massacre, ridiculously exaggerated the scope and degree of criminal acts; and some like the comfort women, were utterly politicised distortions of the historical record whose major claims (were Japan interested in fighting the US on the matter) could be easily disproven in any neutral arena.

I have no interest in discussing the above matters further here, I just wanted to mention that people who are well aware of how US/NATO propaganda has distorted Western understanding of Ukraine in a very short space of time, should probably be able to imagine how decades of anti-Japanese propaganda has been able to cloud people's understanding of what occurred 70+ years ago, and that when you hear people bashing Japan for failing to apologise for its historical sins, (a) there have been ample apologies, (b) many of these 'sins' have been grossly distorted and inflated, (c) those accusing them of such have equal if not worse historical sins that rarely receive any public attention.

Posted by: Brannagyn | Jul 9 2022 2:44 utc | 91

Hugo Jansen@81
None of what you attribute to 'Kopolev' bears on the vclaims that the famines of the early thirties were attempts to starve the Ukrainians..
As to the history of grain procurements, the 5 Year Plans and collectivisation all are debatable matters and questions on which people of goodwill may honestly disagree. My own view is that collectivisation was a mistake and a tragedy, the result of vulgar political analyses and a crude understanding of the nature of capitalist development.
However the notion that Stalin fabricated the famine and deliberately deprived the peasantry of food and seed grain is nonsense. As I said it is a fascist legend designed not only to nourish anti communist but specifically racist Ukrainian sentiments. What began as a recruiting pitch for the SS was adopted into an ideology for preserving fascism in order to produce civil strife in Ukraine. In that it has succeeded. Not a few of the tattooed yahoos murdering and raping moskal victims will have been indoctrinated into the Holodomor lies.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 9 2022 3:04 utc | 92

JB | Jul 8 2022 21:52 utc | 68
>…”little over one month after this [Ukraine/Economist] statement, Abe is assassinated. If he was the prime behind-the scenes mover in Japanese politics, as alleged, involvement or instigation of the Empire can not be excluded.”
Within the first hour of the shots, I went trawling the internet for “tells”.
My !experience! / observation is that in the immediate aftermath of a Significant Event, information is Out There, which is very quickly, and then quite methodically, erased.
My fishing trip did not yield anything like a “big fish”, but I did note how twitter comments were very quick to point the finger of accusation at China.
To be expected, given the history between the countries.
I was watching to see if the USA, or a vassal, began “fixing” China as a suspect. Haven’t seen this, thus far.
I was musing whether this would be China’s ”Skripals”.
What I *did* find, was: (My attention was drawn more to *who* is the US ambassador to Japan, rather than the prescriptive platitudes.)
§…US Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel.
We are all saddened and shocked by the shooting of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Abe-san has been an outstanding leader of Japan and unwavering ally of the United States.
The U.S. Government and American people are praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, and people of Japan.

So. His statement was out very quickly. Smacks of wanting to “get ahead” of the news?

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jul 9 2022 3:29 utc | 93

@Smith, #93:

What Japanese did in China cannot be condoned away by merely apologize verbally or in some kinds of meaningless official written documentations.

Hatoyama did not apologize in Nanjing. Japanese domestic politics restrained him from using the word "apology"; instead, he used the word "regret". Interestingly enough, Japan did use the word "apology" in their formal apology to the Republic of Korea.

What is an apology if has to conform to the apologizer's whims? That's why China never considered Japan having "apologized". They maintains that sincerity is lacking in Japan's so-called "apology", so what was rendered was a mere ceremonial utterance to make do during a time of re-establishing some form of diplomatic relationships between two large Asian nations. At the time, and that time still reigns as of now, diplomatic relationship between two nations of such weights is necessary for prosperity and peace in Asia. So China let this be, for now at least. However, China still considers itself a victim of some beastly cruelties that has not been adequately addressed nor revenged. Unless and until something is done by Japan to properly address their aggression against China since 1894 (the first Sino-Japanese War), and the cruelties that Japan inflicted upon Chinese people since then until 1945, the history of this era will be fervently taught in Chinese schools for people to remember. As it should be.

What are some of the things that Chinese expect Japan to do as parts of 'sincere' apology? First off, be frank and thorough in their school textbooks on history of what happened, including the role that Hirohito played in all of the cruelties. Second, abolish the so-called Emperorship. Hirohito manifested that he was a beast, a cruel and vicious one at that, so the Japanese House of Royalty is the House of Beasts. In addition, Japan should know which side to pull for in the nascent confrontation between the East and the West, and to do what it takes to ensure the East wins. Having done these, they should wait and hope that the Chinese people would consider these adequate, and would accept the apologies. If not enough, it's up to them to find out what else need to be done and do so as best they can.

In these regards, what people like Abe (and his maternal grandfather) and Koizumi have done in office had been the continuation of the beastly acts that Japan imposed upon Chinese and some other Asians. I would shed no tears for his demise.

Australians complained about Japanese mistreatments of their POWs. They have no idea how much worse such treatments could have been had these POWs been Chinese in ethnicity. That's how China remembers the treatments at Japan's hands since 1894.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jul 9 2022 3:37 utc | 94

Yesterday afternoon I experienced a frisson of alarm upon hearing that the former Japanese PM Shinso Abe had been/almost had been assassinated. Only hours earlier I had read M.K. Bhadrakumar at Indian Punchline ("Japan's Kishida Steps on Russian Oil Slick") and was thinking about Abe- the guy who was twice elected Japanese P.M.
Is this a foreboding? Sorry-not rational, but sometimes we ladies get these feelings.
Anyhow, thanks b for your balanced account of Mr Abe's political career, and for a very interesting thread of comments. I particularly commend JB -@26 and @61, for providing the link to a Dutch intellectual named Karel van Wolferen. This fellow is very knowledgeable on the way of Japanese contemporary politics, and has situated said politics within the framework of the "full spectrum dominance" Wolfowitz doctrine. (46:The Havok and Fantasy of Full Spectrum Dominance. Sept 24, 2014). This is exceptionally exciting reading given the present geopolitics. Be alarmed!
The Dutch are in the news at the moment. Karel van Wolferen and the protesting Dutch farmers are a credit to the nation of the Netherlands. But the history of that nation is at times not so laudatory. At Dances With Bears today, John Helmer cites two examples of the Dutch being bad- in Ambon, in the 17th century, and in the current MH17 trial in The Hague. As usual, it's a great essay.

Posted by: Australian lady | Jul 9 2022 3:40 utc | 95

@Oriental Voice
Uh no, Hatoyama actually went to Nanjing to apologize.
It was a big news back then and made japanese right wingers red-faced.
He used the actual word "apology", not "regret".

I think you mistake him with Abe.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 9 2022 3:42 utc | 96

ak74 | Jul 8 2022 21:06 utc | 64
>…” a country that not only has the means, motive, and opportunity to perpetrate attacks like this one”…..[and power to control the narrative].
I can guess.
What has Japan/ Abe done that might make him a target?

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jul 9 2022 4:42 utc | 97

@Smith, #100:

Well, it was a "personal" apology as a "former" PM. As a Chinese I do appreciate many Japanese on what they have done to atone for the animosity between the two nations. I have many friends of Japanese nationality myself. By the way, China reveres some foreigners as sincere "friends of China", among these, people of Japanese nationality have the highest numerical count.

It is my point of view that Japan has no intention of atoning for what they did as a nation. They believe that what were done were parts of a war, and that they have legitimate reasons to stage wars to benefit their nation. Since they were strong enough to subjugate their neighbors, it's thus their right to do so.

It's just my view. There are two nations I would never forgive: Japan and UK.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jul 9 2022 4:59 utc | 98

NemesisCalling | Jul 8 2022 18:02 utc | 40
>…”He was a friend of Putin. Seems not enough credit given on this very important point.”.
And a friend of
Pompeo:”(He was the perfect partner for the United States)”
Seems Abe was able to “friend” everyone. Perhaps he should have opened a charm school.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jul 9 2022 5:01 utc | 99

Nobody is "buried" at Yasukuni. The shrine maintains a written record of every person who has sacrificed his life for the nation after a certain date. The public (including famous politicians) is not allowed to view the book. Members of the public can request confirmation that person x is listed. The written response takes a few months. I have a relative who died for Japan in WW2 and this is the process I went through. Someone asked whether persons declared to be war criminals were on the list. The confirmation was given. The shrine declines to remove these names.
So the closest equivalent I can think of is some American politician visiting the Vietnam Memorial in DC (where doubtless there are war criminals enshrined on that wall), and Vietnam raising a fuss over specific names they have identified on the wall.

Posted by: Orville | Jul 9 2022 5:44 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.