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Shinzō Abe (安倍 晋三 Abe Shinzō, IPA: [abe ɕin(d)zoː]; (21 September 1954 – 8 July 2022) was a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan and Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from 2012 to 2020. He previously served as Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007 and Chief Cabinet Secretary from 2005 to 2006. He was the longest serving Prime Minister in Japanese history.
Address to the Diet in his first term as Prime Minister (2006)
- I have just been appointed to the office of Prime Minister. As the first Japanese Prime Minister born in the postwar years, and at a time when Japan has come through a severe period and stands at the start of its development in the new century, I am bracing myself to shoulder the heavy responsibilities of directing the national government. I accept the expectations of the many people of Japan squarely and seriously, and I will stake my life on carrying out my duties.
- In conducting the affairs of State, I will first clarify my own political stance to the people of Japan and to the members of the Diet. I have no intention of conducting governance for the benefit of specific organizations or individuals; instead I will conduct governance on behalf of the entire people - the ordinary people who live by the sweat of their brows, love their families, wish to improve their own communities and hometowns, and who want to believe in the future of Japan. I promise to make a total commitment to governance that allows everyone to take part, that opens up a new era, and that is aimed at building a society open to everyone and giving each individual a chance to take on challenges.
- The kind of society that Japan should aim at is a society in which the efforts of people are rewarded, a society in which there is no stratification into winners and losers, and a society in which ways of working, learning, and living are diverse and multi-tracked — in other words, a society of opportunity where everyone has a chance to challenge again. If there are people who sense they are facing inequality, it is the role of politics to shed light on them.
Quotes about Shinzō Abe
- What part of 'Japanese Army sex slaves' does Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, have so much trouble understanding and apologizing for? ... These were not commercial brothels. Force, explicit and implicit, was used in recruiting these women. What went on in them was serial rape, not prostitution. The Japanese Army's involvement is documented in the government's own defense files. A senior Tokyo official more or less apologized for this horrific crime in 1993 ... Yesterday, [Abe] grudgingly acknowledged the 1993 quasi-apology, but only as part of a pre-emptive declaration that his government would reject the call, now pending in the United States Congress, for an official apology. America isn't the only country interested in seeing Japan belatedly accept full responsibility. [South] Korea and China are also infuriated by years of Japanese equivocations over the issue.
- A New York Times editorial on 6 March 2007 commented for instance about Abe denied any government coercion in the recruitment of comfort women during World War II.
- This attack (assassination of Shinzō Abe) is an act of brutality that happened during the elections - the very foundation of our democracy - and is absolutely unforgivable.
- Fumio Kishida (2022) cited in "Shinzo Abe: Japan ex-leader assassinated while giving speech" on BBC News, 8 July 2022.
- Abe is forever Taiwan's good friend.
- Eric Chu (2022) cited in "Taiwan lost a friend, Tsai says after Abe shot dead" on Taipei Times, 9 July 2022.