Vigil for Shinzo Abe the day after a PLD election victory

Death wake for Shinzo Abe the day after a PLD electoral victory

The assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the middle of the election campaign plunged his country into deep disarray.

The relatives of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid tribute to him on Monday during his wake in Tokyo, three days after his assassination during a campaign rally at the age of 67.

A hearse carrying his body arrived Monday afternoon at the Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, where a funeral wake was held in the presence of figures from the Japanese political and economic world.

The funeral was due to take place at the same location on Tuesday with only relatives of Mr Abe in attendance, before a public homage at a later date.

Returning from a tour of Southeast Asia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stopped by Tokyo on Monday to meet with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and personally introduce his condolences as well as those of President Joe Biden.

The American people share the Japanese people's sense of loss, Blinken said, believing that during his tenure, Prime Minister Abe did more than anyone to elevate the relationship between the United States and Japan. to new heights.

The US Foreign Minister handed Mr. Kishida letters from US President Joe Biden to Mr. Abe's family. In the evening, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, also traveling to Asia, attended the wake.

The assassination of Shinzo Abe overshadowed the election poll on Sunday July 10, 2022

His suspected killer, arrested at the scene of the attack, has been identified by police as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, believed to be a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan's Navy .

According to police sources cited by local media, he watched videos on YouTube showing how to make a homemade firearm like the one used in the attack.

He explained deliberately targeting Mr. Abe, saying he was angry at an organization he thought the politician was affiliated with. Japanese media had claimed that it was a religious organization to which Ms. Yamagami's mother had made large donations, putting their family in great financial difficulty.

The Unification Church, a South Korean-based organization also known as the Moon Sect, confirmed during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday that the mother of the suspect was one of his followers.

The cult's Japanese branch did not provide details of the suspect's mother's donations, saying it wanted to cooperate with the ongoing police investigation, and said it was horrified by the incident. assassination of Mr. Abe, claiming that he had never been one of its members or advisers.

The Japanese, still in shock, have voted on Sunday to renew half of the Upper House of Parliament, a ballot without real suspense and largely overshadowed by the attack on Mr Abe which saw the plebiscite of the Liberal Democratic Party [PLD, nationalist right] of Mr. Kishida.

The coalition formed by the PLD and its ally Komeito won a large electoral victory, winning 76 of the 125 seats at stake on Sunday, against 69 before the ballot, and now controls 146 of the 248 seats in the Senate, according to results. final.

With two other parties with which alliances are possible on certain points, the PLD and the Komeito even have a super-majority of two thirds of the Senate which would potentially allow them to pave the way for a revision of the Japan's pacifist constitution, dreamed of by Shinzo Abe, former leader of the PLD.

Mr. Kishida said on Monday that the election victory was a chance to protect Japan and continue Mr. Abe's action. former leader could posthumously receive the Grand Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, the most prestigious decoration in the Archipelago.

Japanese citizens paid tribute on Monday to their former prime minister.

The Prime Minister also said he wanted to work on deepening the parliamentary debate on the Constitution in order to be able to develop a concrete amendment proposal for a referendum, while the different parties differ on the content of the Constitution. #x27;a possible constitutional revision.

Mr. Kishida also pledged to continue his work on important issues for Japan such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and inflation.

The main opposition force, the centre-left Constitutional Democratic Party (PDC), secured only 17 seats [six less than before the election] .

Thirty-five women were also elected on Sunday, a record for elections to the Japanese Upper House. Turnout was 52%, down from 49% in previous senatorial elections in 2019.

The election campaign was notably dominated by price hikes due to soaring costs oil and other raw materials, and risks to Japan's electricity supply, as the heat wave that has hit the country since late June raises fears of grid disruptions.

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