Who is Shinzo Abe, ex-Japan prime minister? 8 things to know
Shinzo Abe was the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, a former prime minister and one of Japan's most influential figures.
Former Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated Friday morning while campaigning for Sunday's election to the country's Upper House. According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, at least two bangs (presumed gunshots) were heard and Abe could be seen bleeding from chest. Police sources told NHK it was likely Abe had been shot from behind by a shotgun. A suspect - identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old resident of Nara - has been taken into custody and a gun recovered from his possession, the Japan Times said.
Who is Shinzo Abe, former prime minister of Japan?
> Abe, 62, first became Japan's prime minister in 2006; he served for exactly one year before he stepped down citing health reasons. He returned in December 2012 and served for eight years, becoming his country's longest-serving leader.
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> Abe resigned for a second time in August 2020, again citing health problems. He was replaced by Yoshihide Suga who was in power till the general election of October 2021, when Fumio Kishida became prime minister.
> Shinzo Abe was the first Japanese prime minister to have been born after World War II. He was born September 21, 1954, in Tokyo. Abe comes from a political family - his grandfather was also PM and his father was a former foreign minister. He is married to Akie Abe. The couple have no children.
> In January last year, India awarded Shinzo Abe the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second-highest civilian award - for ‘exceptional and distinguished service’ in the field of public affairs.
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> Among his policies as a prime minister was the 'Abenomics' - the 2013 experiment meant to jolt Japan's economy out of decades of stagnation. It was based on monetary stimulus, government spending and economic reforms.
> Importantly, in 2007 Abe also spearheaded efforts to begin the Quad, or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue - the strategic security dialogue between Japan, India, the United States and Australia.
> Also among notable moments of his prime ministership was the revision of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which says 'Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation' and was added at the direction of the United States after the country surrendered at the end of World War II.
> It was under Abe's stewardship that Japan sent armed forces overseas - for the first time - to fight and that cost him significant support.