Japan: mourning former Prime Minister Abe

Japan's ex-prime minister Shinzō Abe was shot dead in the street during an election campaign rally on 8 July. He led Japan from 2006-2007 and then again from 2012-2020. In terms of foreign policy, he focused on maintaining balanced relations with neighbouring countries while strengthening the island state's military, while in domestic policy he focused on reforms in numerous economic and social spheres. A look at the obituaries in the European press.

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Naftemporiki (GR) /

The shocking death of a true reformer

In its obituary Naftemporiki writes of Abe:

“He was one of the few politicians in the world who gave his name to a global economic school, Abenomics, and linked his career to the progressive transformation of Japan. He was the one who broke the taboos regarding the position of women in the Japanese labour market and, above all, a politician who, with Abenomics, showed a different way to deal with the global financial crisis: instead of austerity, he implemented a triple mix of ultra-loose monetary policy, increased government spending and parallel structural reforms. For all these reasons, and in our times of a new global crisis, Abe's assassination is a shock inside and outside Japan's borders.”

Sme (SK) /

Author of a cooperative foreign poilcy

Sme pays tribute to the assassinated ex-prime minister, describing him as a visionary:

“Abe saw Japan as a proactive, sovereign and fully normalised player on the international stage, capable of developing, responding to external and internal stimuli and achieving its goals in cooperation with like-minded partners. ... He also pursued the idea of linking the Pacific and Indian Oceans as 'seas of freedom and prosperity' and overcoming the rivalry between the great powers of the region. Faced with China's growing self-confidence and in line with Abe's vision, not only the US but also the EU followed suit with their strategies for the Indo-Pacific.”

La Tribune (FR) /

He proved Keynes' theory in practice

Shinzō Abe had dedicated himself to saving his country, stresses economist Michel Santi in La Tribune:

“Faced with Japan's decline, considered inevitable by many observers and foreign officials, Shinzo Abe used all his determination to maintain his country's standing. His conviction was largely inspired by Keynes, who started from the principle that until proven otherwise, one can only rely on the state to save the economy. ... Japan was a laboratory, but also a graveyard where economists and theorists had to bury their certainties. ... Indeed, this country highlights truths that are not very pleasant to hear for any orthodox economist as it contradicts all the prevailing views.”