Two days after the assassination attempt against former Prime Minister Abe Oberhauswall in Japan.World News 

Two days after the assassination attempt against former Prime Minister Abe Oberhauswall in Japan.

Two days after the assassination attempt against former Prime Minister Abe Oberhauswall in Japan.

Mourning for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

© AFP

Overshadowed by the assassination attempt on former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan held an upper house election on Sunday. 125 of the 248 mandates of the House of Parliament will be redistributed in the elections. More than 500 candidates are competing. According to polls, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the LDP, to which Abe belonged, can count on a victory in the elections.

According to polls, together with its coalition partner Komeito, the LDK can get more than 70 seats and thus expand its majority in the upper house. No other national elections are scheduled in Japan for the next three years. However, Prime Minister Funio Kishida faces challenges such as rising prices and energy shortages. Polls close at 20:00 (13:00 CEST local time) and the first predictions are due shortly after.

Abe was campaigning in the western Japanese city of Nara on Friday in support of a party colleague when he was shot dead. Abe was pronounced dead at the hospital a few hours later. The violence committed by the 41-year-old unemployed man caused horror at home and abroad.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida, however, remained committed to the date of the upper house elections. “Under no circumstances can we allow the use of violence to suppress the expression of opinion during elections,” Kisida said on Saturday. He has a “responsibility to complete these House of Lords elections in a free, fair and safe manner”.

Abe’s body was taken to Tokyo on Saturday. According to his office, a wake is planned for Monday evening. The funeral of the former head of government will take place on Tuesday with a small group of Abe’s relatives and friends. According to local media, a wake and memorial service will be held at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who is currently in Asia, announced that he will pay a condolence visit to Japan on Monday.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) is also visiting the country, but the trip was planned before Abe’s death. On Sunday, he was scheduled to visit Nagasaki to speak with survivors of the August 1945 atomic bombing of the city. He wants to hold political talks in Tokyo on Monday.

Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. He represented nationalist positions and wanted to change Japan’s pacifist constitution. His economic policies, based on economic stimulus programs and deregulation, became known as “Abenomics”.

The gunman, who was arrested shortly after Friday’s attack, said in a confession that he had “resentment against a certain organization” and believed Abe had something to do with it, police said. The police did not name the organization.

According to Japanese media, it is said to be a religious group. The killer’s family is in financial trouble because of his mother’s donations to the group.

Apparently, the 41-year-old criminal used a homemade weapon for the murder. Nara Prefectural Police Chief Tomoaki Onizuka admitted he did not protect Abe and promised a “thorough investigation” into the wrongdoing.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and US President Joe Biden were among the many heads of state and government who expressed condolences in the days since the attack. Flags flew at half-mast on government buildings in the United States.

But countries Abe has clashed with during his tenure also reacted with shock. Chinese President Xi Jinping said he was “deeply saddened” by Abe’s brutal death.

AFP:

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