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the tenure of Japan’s former Prime Minister Abe

#tenure #Japans #Prime #Minister #Abe

Japan’s most prominent politician Shinzo Abe was shot dead at a campaign rally on Friday and left in a “very serious condition,” shocking the country and world leaders.

The former prime minister resigned in 2020, ending a tenure full of headline-grabbing moments, from a role as Super Mario to a controversial visit to a shrine that sparked regional fury.

Here are some of the most memorable moments from Abe’s record-breaking tenure.

– Connections to Trump –

Abe made developing a close personal relationship with former US President Donald Trump a cornerstone of protecting Japan’s most important alliance.

In 2016, he flew to New York to chat with Trump after the US election and was the first foreign leader to meet him in his Manhattan skyscraper.

The couple regularly played golf together, and Trump became the first head of state to meet Japan’s new emperor.

But there were many embarrassing moments.

In 2017, a video went viral of Trump nearly wrestling with Abe in a handshake that lasted 19 seconds and ended with the Japanese leader visibly grimacing and seeming relieved the encounter was over.

And then there was her 2018 golf game, when Abe fell backwards into a bunker and Trump marched down the fairway seemingly oblivious.

– Olympiad –

It was pretty much the last thing you’d expect from Japan’s no-nonsense prime minister, but in 2016 Abe decided to show his commitment to the Olympics in an unusual way — by starring as video game icon Super Mario.

He donned the disguise at the Rio Games for the official handover ceremony to Tokyo and, thanks to some digital tricks, appeared to tunnel through the earth from Japan to Brazil before emerging in full costume.

“I wanted to show the world Japan’s soft power using Japanese characters,” he told reporters.

– “Banzai!” –

Few political leaders can say that their tenure literally marked the end of an era, but in Japan, the abdication of former Emperor Akihito marked the end of the Heisei Imperial Era in 2019.

The new Reiwa era began in May 2019 and Emperor Naruhito officially ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne in October in a ceremony steeped in tradition and grandeur.

As prime minister, Abe played a role that comes only once in a generation, promising in an address to the new monarch that the Japanese people would “respect Her Highness the Emperor as a symbol of the state and the unity of the Japanese people.” “.

Then he raised his hands three times and shouted the phrase: “Banzai!” or “Long live the Emperor!”

– Shrine Ride –

His tenure was also marked by less lighthearted moments, including his 2013 visit to Yasukuni, a shrine that venerates the souls of Japan’s war dead – including some convicted of war crimes by a US tribunal.

The shrine is seen by many in the region as a symbol of Japanese militarism, during which much of East Asia and Southeast Asia faced brutal offensives and years of occupation.

Abe’s visit sparked outrage in China and South Korea, and even a rebuke from the US.

He said the trip was not intended to stoke tensions, but he stayed away afterward, sending only ritual offerings in the years that followed.

– Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor –

Abe said little about what he thought his legacy would be, but he did mention one particular point he’s proud of: bringing then-US President Barack Obama to Hiroshima in 2016.

Obama was the first sitting US President to visit the site where he paid tribute to the victims of the world’s first nuclear attack, but without apologizing for the bombing.

Later that year, the two leaders made a poignant joint pilgrimage to Pearl Harbor, the first visit by a sitting Japanese leader to the memorial there, making symbolic statements about the power of reconciliation and warning of the drumbeat of conflict.

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