The man would have loved it.

The 19 gun salutes, the attendance of the imperial family, the foreign VIPs and the two-hour ceremonies testify to his impact on contemporary Japan. Nothing like it has been seen for decades and you can bet your boots that it will be a mighty long time before anyone even thinks of risking another similar event.

Yes - the queues of people determined to honor assassinated former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe near the Budokan were long and dutiful but those opposed were equally determined and eager to protest at what was seen as an outrage. Any comparison with the thousands of leftwing demonstrators of 1960 and after is certainly overdone but the recent rallies had at least an echo of past - not least because Abe was the grandson of Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi who was forced to resign over the renewal of the security treaty in 1960.

The state funeral for Abe contains lessons galore on what not to do.

First: Beware of holding state funerals for politicians unless you are pretty certain that there is massive public support. If not, the whole thing will obviously backfire and those responsible may find it hard to recover electorally.

Postwar Japan's only precedent was the funeral of former leader Shigeru Yoshida. He was the man who, rightly or wrongly, bore comparison with Britain's Winston Churchill and West Germany's Konrad Adenauer. Few surely would rank Abe's accomplishments with those of Yoshida, who played a major role in Japan's recovery after defeat in the second world war and laid the foundations of the U.S.-Japan security relationship following the San Francisco peace treaty of 1951.

Second: Make certain that you explain the full financial details in advance and provide time for parliamentary debate and approval.

Third: Keep any military trappings to an absolute minimum.

And lastly, don't go overboard with thousands of attendees, massive security on the streets and helicopters in the skies, unless the man or woman you wish to honor has been a unifying, widely recognized, positive force in society.

Mr Abe was anything but this - even his most ardent supporters might admit some day that his impact was mixed at home and abroad. His state funeral has aroused real anger and surely invites widespread questioning over what he really did to get the economy going again, the extent of his links to what is seen by some to be a religious cult, and how substantial his regional initiatives actually were.

For now just leave the man to future historians.

QOSHE - Japan: A nation split dangerously down the middle - Japan Today
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Japan: A nation split dangerously down the middle

36 3 6
28.09.2022

The man would have loved it.

The 19 gun salutes, the attendance of the imperial family, the foreign VIPs and the two-hour ceremonies testify to his impact on contemporary Japan. Nothing like it has been seen for decades and you can bet your boots that it will be a mighty long time before anyone even thinks of risking another similar event.

Yes - the queues of people determined to honor assassinated former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe near the Budokan were long and dutiful but those opposed were equally determined and eager to protest at what was seen as an outrage. Any comparison with the thousands of leftwing........

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