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Abe killing seen as attack on Japan's democracy

30 Comments
By FOSTER KLUG and MARI YAMAGUCHI

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The motive of Abe's suspected gunman isn’t yet clear, though police and media reports indicate that it wasn't political.

Actually, it is now being reported that “unreliable information on the internet prompted [the gunman] to turn his hostility toward former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi’s grandson.”

I guess all the inaccurate blame targeted at Soka Gakkai immediately after the shooting is now being directed at the Unification Church. I wish we could get an unfiltered explanation — you know, one that actually makes sense.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

“The bullet pierced the foundation of democracy,” the liberal Asahi newspaper, a regular foil of the conservative, sometimes history-revisionist Abe, said in a front-page editorial after the killing. “We tremble with rage.”

And that is why "Japanese democracy" fails.

Even Asahi falls in line with the revisionist hagiography of Abe, and makes a hereditary scion of a political dynasty who incompetently led a one-party oligopoly a shining symbol of democracy.

The Japanese Fourth estate which is also necessary for democracy is totally lacking.

-1 ( +17 / -18 )

It’s very hard to make the argument that this was an attack on democracy when the killer wasn’t motivated by politics at all. In the end, Abe’s death will be used for political gain, but this was certainly not an attack on democracy.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

The motive of Abe's suspected gunman, who was arrested after being tackled by security, isn’t yet clear, though police and media reports indicate that it wasn't political.

Whitewash alert.

The murderer's motive has been all over social media since Saturday afternoon (his mother donated huge sums of money to the Unification Church, bankrupting his family) and since three generations of Abe's family, plus most of the LDP, have deep connections to the Unification Church, it most certainly is political.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

How do they come to this conclusion? His assassination was not politically motivated. He was killed by some loon with a misinformed grudge and a homemade gun. It is not an attack on Japan's democracy at all. The Japanese media will over dramatize anything to sell newspapers.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Nah, too much security, surveillance, control, and quelling dissent is the opposite of democracy. In a healthy democracy, you are going to have to put up with some risk of a crazy doing what they do. This is perhaps a mental health issue, or even an issue related to cults that demand you send them money if the case may be.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I asked a Japanese lawyer one time which group in Japan he found the most expecting him to say the Yakuza, but he said the cults and religious fanatics were the scariest because they didn't give a damn about consequences, whereas, the Yakuza did fear consequences.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

'The bullet pierced the foundation of democracy'.....according to the Asahi Shimbum.

I find this to be an extremely problematic rendering of the situation. The murderer held a personal animus for Abe because he believed that Abe had somehow been connected to the Unification Church, which had swindled his mother. He even said he had no problem with Abe's policies, which on the face of it represented an erosion of democracy.

In these troubled times this kind of sensationalist hyperbole can be very dangerous.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Na. This was a shot at Abe. Not Democracy.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Some people never miss the chance to turn a tragedy into an opportunity to push their politics.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

I see this killing as a deranged attack by 1 wacko. Nothing to do with politics or democracy. Sorta like the guy, recently released from prison in 2022, who shot Reagan trying to impress an actress.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Abe killing seen as attack on Japan's democracy

What democracy?

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

“Japan is a democracy, so the murder of a former prime minister is an attack on us all,” The Japan Times said in an editorial. “This was an act of terrorism.”

Nah, and the shooter even said he went out of his way to make sure no one else was hit.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

“Japan is a democracy,

No its not.

so the murder of a former prime minister is an attack on us all,” The Japan Times said in an editorial.

See above comment

“This was an act of terrorism.”

See above comment

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

One more thing- I included a link to this article in another thread, but I think it is very pertinent to this thread.

Shinzo Abe Was ‘Trump Before Trump’—Except He Pulled It Off (thedailybeast.com)

Lets look at a few things the article tells us about Abe...

First he himself has attacked democracy

But the man who Donald Trump advisor Steven Bannon famously praised as “Trump before Trump,” leaves behind a legacy that may have forever changed Japan. He reduced it to a perpetual one-party democracy that seems unlikely to change.

A former Minister of Justice Nagase Jinen, appointed during Abe’s first term in office, told the crowd, “The people’s sovereignty, basic human rights, and pacifism—these three things date to the postwar regime imposed by MacArthur on Japan, therefore we have to get rid of them to make the constitution our own!”

Abe loudly applauded this. Get rid of basic human rights, democracy, and wage warfare. Also, restore the emperor to power.

Does this man sound like he has an ounce of democracy in his DNA? I think NOT.

The article then explains what he did during his second stint in power and how he DESTROYED freedom of the press in Japan.

Shinzo Abe was quick to take revenge upon his critics once back in power, labeling the liberal newspaper **Asahi Shimbun an enemy of the people. Later, he would tell Donald Trump, “You should handle the New York Times, the way I handled the Asahi.”**

He bullied the left-wing media and wined and dined the right-wing media—dragging Japan’s press freedom from 11 in the world, to as low as 72nd place in world rankings. In 2014, he created a Cabinet Personnel Bureau, which exercised ruthless control of bureaucratic appointments assuring that any government worker who didn’t tow the line, or released information contradicting the government, was either shunned, fired, or sidelined. 

Television anchors and pundits that were too critical of Abe vanished from the airwaves. 

Kind of stuff you would expect from China or N Korea. I'm sorry, but the assassination of this man was not an attack on democracy at all. It might have saved it.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

The editors/editorials of liberal Asahi and Japan Times newspapers should hang there heads in shame, a poisonous toxic gross misrepresentation of facts and events.

A deliberate false misleading account, to stir up a public in a state of mourning.

Provocation instead of calm reflection.

Political weaponization, when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida could have brought and called for respectful contemplation.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japan is a democracy and there is religious freedom and if a crazy guy decides to kill someone who has a weak affiliation with that religion jus because his mother decided to give a large donation to somebody.....well, then, the guy is what it is.....crazy

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The boilerplate rhetoric of the Asahi and the rest of the media that have contributed little to the defense and promotion of democratic thought in Japan by failing to stand up to and expose with real investigative journalism the "special interests" driving the brazen dark money politics of Japan, is hardly convincing to the hearts and minds of a depoliticized populace. Instead, Abe's sudden, violent demise will simply strike most people as a one-off, tragic incident ending the life of a prominent but distant public figure that will have little to no impact on their own personal daily struggle to live their lives.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Abe killing seen as attack on Japan's democracy

Nope.

While (I believe) nobody would disagree with Abe being the most controversial political figure in recent Japan politics, the assassin was quick to point to a personal grudge, this being duly reported within the hour or so of the murder.

This is going to be highly problematic to the Abe-crowd, a large chunk of the media as well as politicians, because:

it negates Abe his stature as a politician and brings it down to who he was as an individual and

who Abe, as an individual, was colluding with (i.e. very unsavory people)

Expect the Abe crowd to do the same insane acrobatics as the US MAGA-crowd or the UK Brexit-crowd to try to make Abe look even remotely clean in a mess of what is ultimately his (and his family's) own making...

Don't get me wrong. The killer did pull the trigger. The problem being what created the killer to start with...Where the problem deepens, being that politicians in Japan rank VERY low on the popularity-chart, and that there may be many more, equally disgruntled, people from where Yamagami came. Some because of the Moonies, some because of decades of failed politics.

Also, expect not much "Aggiornamento", neither from those media outlets who put a lid on Abe's (or the LDP's) pretty dubious connections under the carpet nor from the politicians who knew...or were on it too...

“The bullet pierced the foundation of democracy,” the liberal Asahi newspaper, a regular foil of the conservative, sometimes history-revisionist Abe, said in a front-page editorial after the killing. “We tremble with rage.”

This day will be remembered as pretty much the day the Asahi Shimbun died and toed the line.

This attack is unique, marking the first assassination of a former or serving leader in postwar Japan, said Mitsuru Fukuda, a crisis management professor at Nihon University, and its consequences could be grave.

Utter BS.

Here a quick recap of some (but not all) of the anti-democratic movements and violent acts in post-war Japan.

https://theconversation.com/shinzo-abes-killing-the-history-of-political-violence-in-japan-186679

We got arson, attempted murders, murders and an attempted coup (Mishima). Don't get me started on Kishi's strongman politics and Aum's failed attempt at igniting WWIII starting with Japan.

Also, Japan is supposed to be a secular democracy, but we have:

Nippon Kaigi

Komeito (and Soka Gakkai)

Happiness Realization and their party

Moonies

...with all in bed with politics/parties and politicians.

What's next to be found in LDP-closest or on election-lists? Hare Krishna? Mormons?

Between what is for all intends and purposes a one-party ruled state and relations far too cozy for comfort with wacko cults is Japan "democracy" is an utter joke.

When I came to Japan in 2004, wifey and I discussed politics.

"Japan is a democracy.", I said.

"Democracy is a foreign concept imposed on Japan after WWII. It has never taken and solid roots", she returned.

"But you've got elections.", I said.

She grinned: "You will see."

Yeah. I've seen. I was wet behind the ears. Wifey was right on every.single.thing. I've since then done my "Aggiornamento".

You just need to look at China, Russia or, heck, even North Korea which also do have elections...

Democracy must never be taken for granted, must always be defended as the slope is far too steep and slippery and things look increasingly slippery in Japan...

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

It was a warning for laced security. Do not play the democracy card here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It wasn't political, was it? What are they on about it being attack on democracy?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

With the complete apathy and non interest the Japanese have in politics I'd be very surprised if anyone gives a hoot in a few weeks.

I got more reaction from people overseas than anyone in Japan over the murder.

No one was talking about it.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

As imperial troops marched across asia

They shouldn't have said that so proudly.

With all their atrocities its truly surprises me they would mention it whilst attempting to change the constitution

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Attack on Japan's democracy

Total BS nonsense as usual .

Blaming it on something that doesn't exist.

It wasn't a political attack and Japanese democracy is false anyway.

A personal grudge against Abe for religious reasons.

Blame the church and his security team instead.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

During last 10 years, who have attacked on Japan's democracy is LDP including Abe.

Background of this assassination is religion.

But Pro-government media and Abe-believers spread disinformation as if people who criticize former PM urged this assassination. They try to oppress free speech with exploiting this assassination.

This is flow as same as prewar Japan where went to militarism.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Asiaman:

Actually, it is now being reported that “unreliable information on the internet prompted [the gunman] to turn his hostility toward former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi’s grandson.”

Argh! If this leads to more censorship and speech control, like we see in so many other countries (or the recent law against undefined internet bullying here), that is much more an attack on democracy than any assassination in itself. Scary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Background of this assassination is religion.

Yes, but it's important to remember that

a) it wasn't a "disagreement" but the fact that this particular church has affected the shooter in a very negative way because

b) this church (just like many other ones) is a scam made to get money out of vulnerable/credulous people, which is why politicians and other wealthy people mainly get involved, not their beliefs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's convenient for politicians to say that. They look good saying that too. But actually, it's a sordid affair involving an organized religion and money. Politicians will push their own agenda asserting this "attack on democracy" narrative.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually, its now being reported that unreliable information on the internet promted

Thats ridiculously accurate

Someone has actually reported that there's unreliable information on the internet that prompts people.

I'd like to hear you validate your source of information !

Good luck with that by the way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the constitution changes then the emperor will rise to a more prominent role .

So it could be viewed as an attack on imperialism and not on democracy.

Go figure !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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