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Perspective: Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Assassinated

TOKYO, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 10: Japanese Prime Minister and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Shinzo Abe attends an event held before the party's annual convention on February 10, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. The ruling party introduced candidates running for a triennial election for the Upper House set to be held this summer at the annual convention. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)


July 9, 2022 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |

The world woke up to the very sad news of the dastardly act of the fatal shooting of the former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, 67 who had visited Jamaica when Portia Simpson Miller was in office in 2015 as PM.  Also Japan officially hosted Jamaica’s foreign Minister Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith to Japan in a reciprocal exchange visit in 2016.

Gunman

Reports are that Abe was shot at close range.  The gunman is believed to have fired two shots that caught Abe in the upper body. Former PM Abe was rushed to hospital and underwent emergency surgery.  It was also reported that he was conscious even after being shot, but eventually collapsed, and after a four hour surgery died. Abe was at a political rally where he was delivering a political speech.

Gun Control

There is extremely strong gun control in Japan.  How did assailant break through security to mortally wound the former Japanese PM is of concern?   This aspect needs close investigation. It must be quite a lapse in security.  We hope the Japanese have not adopted a sense of false security.

USA

Former USA sitting President Ronald Reagan at the time was shot in his abdomen, but survived.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

In 1961 the then President in office, John Fitzgerald Kennedy of the United States Of America (USA),  was assassinated as he drove through the streets of Dallas, Texes, USA in a open top convertible limousine. The top was down at the time so the shooter had a clear shot at his intended target.  Kennedy was naturally flanked by Secret Service agents, yet he was shot. The weather was excellent.  First Lady, his wife Jackie Kennedy was in the car with him, but was unarmed. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed as he could not survive this attack.  It was a direct hit from a high powered telescopic firearm from a high rise building overlooking the motor route that the president was being transported.  The alleged shooter was caught, but in a bizarre twist he was also assassinated while in police custody. The world was turned into turmoil after this dramatic, yet tragic turn of events.

Warren Report

There was a high powered report by one Justice Warren which concluded that the President was the victim of a Cuban engineered plot. Lee Harvey Oswald was fingered as the shooter of President Kennedy. Jack Ruby was accused of killing Lee Harvey Oswald while he (Oswald) was in police custody.  This was the heights of the East West Cold War and the Cuban/Russian Missiles Crisis.

Lyndon BJohnson

Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President on Air Force One shortly after the confirmed news of Kennedy’s death.  It is believed that Kennedy’s body was on board the said plane when Johnson was sworn in as President.

Epidemic

Crime is an epidemic that is everywhere.  The statistics from Japan shows that in 2014 they had 6 homicides. In 2020 there was 4 and in 2021 there was one. So relatively speaking the record has been most impressive. Please do not misunderstand me for a moment, every death is one too many, as every life is valuable and priceless.

World Reaction To Abe’s Death

France

French President Emmanuel Macron said:

“We mourn the loss of Abe”

Anthony Blinking, US Secretary Of State said inter alia:

“Abe was a great partner. “

David Cameron former UK PM said also:

“Abe was a decent man and a good friend.”

Can we say the same about all?

Jamaica

Foreign Minister Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith, speaking live on Nationwide News Network (NNN) today Friday, July 8, 2022,  was quite emotional as she expressed her sadness at the assassination of Abe.  She visited Japan in 2016.  She stated that:

“Then PM Abe was a friend of Jamaica.  I am horrified … It is shocking.  PM Holness sent a letter of condolence.

PM Holness visited Japan 2019. My condolence to Abe’s family, and the people of Japan”

The Jamaican foreign minister concluded as her voice appeared to be choking from emotion.

Motive

It has been reported that the suspect that shot Abe used a homemade gun and had an arsenal of homemade guns, police reported, and was holding a grudge against Abe.  The reason and details for the grudge were not released.  Abe may have not have been the intended target.  It was indeed a dastardly act. We condemn such an action and think violence is never the answer to solving grouses nor settle differences. There has to be a better way.

JET

One of my close relatives went to Japan as an Assistant English Teacher and spent about 4 years there on said Exchange programme which has been around for about twenty years. The Jamaica/Japanese Exchange Programme (JET). was paused due to the pandemic, and was being restarted.

Commentary

It is very sad that someone found it necessary to attack former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.  This outstanding leader has made many friends across the world and in the Caribbean in particular. Abe has left a positive impact on the local and world scene.  He even danced reggae in Japan when PM Holness visited with him.  His untimely death by assassination has caught many of us by surprise.  May his soul rest in peace and light perpetual shine on him.

Author Profile

Hopeton Dennie
Hopeton Dennie
Hopeton O'Connor-Dennie is a poet, elegist, author, and senior international journalist who writes for Vision newspaper.

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