Obituary: Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving Japan’s Prime Minister

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Publishers’ Note: Condolences to the People of Japan and the Abe Family

Solemn condolences were paid at Japan’s Mission to the UN on July 12, 2022, to wit: “To the great people of Japan, Ranju Batra & I share in the grief of losing a world leader – H.E. Shinzo Abe San – a man who sought to enhance peace and security by making Japan have full sovereign rights, that included a strong military! We look to even stronger relations with the people of Japan. With deepest respect to the Abe family.”

Publisher Ranju Batra, and Ravi Batra, Co-Publisher and Editor-in-Chief


On Friday July 8th, two days before the election, the former prime minister of Japan, H.E. Shinzo Abe, was brutally assassinated from behind by Tetsuya Yamagami during an election rally in the city of Nara, near Osaka. Considered the most successful Prime Minister of the country after WW II, Abe revitalized the stagnant Japanese economy by applying the ambitious “Three Arrow Strategy”, globally known as Abenomics. He also fought to amend the pacifist Constitution to full sovereign rights and allow Japan’s fulsome international engagement. Abe was acutely aware of the increasing Chinese presence in the Indo-Pacific and worked with the USA, India, and Australia to counter-balance Beijing’s influence.

A political family that led Japan for generations

Shinzo Abe was born on 21 September 1954 in Shinjuku, Tokyo, to a political family interwoven with Japanese pride and loyal service to its sovereignty. His maternal grandfather Nobusuke Kishi was among the founders of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in 1955. Between 1957 and 1960, Kishi served as Prime Minister of Japan.

His paternal grandfather Kan Abe was also a politician serving in the House of Representatives during World War II.

His father, Shintaro Abe, was a member of the House of Representatives from 1958 to 1991 and served as Chief Cabinet Secretary, Minister for International Trade and Industry, and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Since 1982, Shinzo Abe has served in government positions – including private secretary to the chairperson of the LDP General Council and private secretary to the LDP secretary-general – before entering active politics. In 1993, he was elected a Member of the House of Representatives in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

He became Prime Minister for a short time, in 2006-2007. He returned to the Office in December 2012 and served until 2020, earning him the title of the longest-serving Prime Minister of Japan. He resigned for health reasons but remained a prominent force within the LDP party and Japan.

Abenomics succeeded; a lesson for conservative political parties

Japan’s economy was stagnant for almost two decades. Abe had the vision to revitalize the country’s economy and again make Japan among the most important global economic powers. His slogan “Japan is Back!” was associated with the shock therapy named Abenomics.

His economic policy relied on the famous “Three Arrow Strategy,” which consisted of monetary easing, government spending, and economic reforms – a formula used by both President Trump and Biden during the Covid-years. Abe was the first Prime Minister to convince the conservative-minded central bank to revise its policy to promote growth in a nation with declining and aging population.

The results became visible quite soon, in 2013, and helped Japan’s rapid growth.

Japan’s international engagement

Abe’s ambition was to constitutionally enhance Japan’s international engagements in the global economy. However, a pacifist Constitution that came into effect in May 1947 as a direct result of WW II – particularly Article 9 – renounced the creation of armed forces with war potential, and prohibits any military engagement abroad. This abdication of sovereign rights was no longer necessary as Japan has proven her peaceful worldview without any desire to dominate other nations. Japan’s desire to be a valuable partner in maintaining peace and security, freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific, and contributing to UN Peacekeeping missions are all acts of a good sovereign.

So, Abe intended to amend the Constitution and give Tokyo further international role alongside her allies – none more closer than with the United States, even as his personal bond with India’s prime minister, H.E. Narendra Modi, is legendary. However, he needed an absolute majority to hold a referendum, which Abe didn’t have. Ironically, after his assassination, the LDP coalition won the necessary majority that will ease Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, a strong ally of Abe and the United States, to finally seek constitutional reforms that restore to Japan the rights and privileges customary to sovereigns under international law.

Shinzo Abe was aware of the growing Chinese presence in the Indo-Pacific and promoted a combination between Japan, the US, India, and Australia, known as the Quad. He signed an important Trade Deal with Australia, and actively supported the independence of Taiwan.

He also introduced laws allowing Self-Defense Forces, the Japanese military, to act with and support Japan’s Allies abroad.

Domestic history honored, Political controversy abroad

The major controversy of his politics was his relationship with right-wing nationalists and conservative religious organizations; a relationship that secured conservative votes for his party.

His visit to the Yasukuni Shrine sparked several controversies. Yasukuni is a Shinto shrine in Chiyoda, Tokyo, that honors those who died in service of Japan. However, among the more than 2 million dead, also commemorated are 1,068 convicted war criminals, 14 of whom are A-Class – with resulting pain to the WW II “Comfort Women,” despite the carefully worded Kono Apology.

But Shinzo Abe boldly and openly embraced history, as it was while being made, and did not apply a back-ward looking lens. One can say he was an Originalist of, and for, history using a present-sense understanding, rather than a War’s victory-based definition of a war-hero or a war-criminal. Applying that formula, every American would honor America’s Founders and American Exceptionalism, while observing the quandary: that if “all men are created equal” in 1776 America, how could some Americans only be worth “three-fifth,” after being imported into slavery against their will, in 1787 for Constitutional purposes.

Antony J. Blinken: Abe, an unwavering ally and friend of the United States

Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a press statement on 8 July about the passing of Former Prime Minister of Japan Abe Shinzo.

“Together with the people of the United States, I offer my sincerest condolences on the tragic passing of former Prime Minister of Japan Abe Shinzo. Prime Minister Abe was a global leader and unwavering ally and friend of the United States, whose vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific lifted our Alliance cooperation to new heights.

We offer our thoughts to Prime Minister Abe’s family and the people of Japan. Together with them and the world, we mourn his passing.”

This Op-Ed by Ravi Batra, was assisted in by Theodoros Benakis.

Ravi Batra, Esq.
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Ravi Batra, starting September 11, 2021, is a publisher of The America Times Company Ltd., and since January 2022, is the Editor-in-Chief. He is a member of the National Press Club, in Washington D.C., and a member of its "Freedom of the Press" and "International Correspondents" Teams/Committees.

A member of the bar since 1981, he is the head of a boutique law firm in Manhattan, The Law Firm of Ravi Batra, P.C., that handles complex constitutional, sovereignty, torture, civil and criminal cases, representing governments, corporates and individuals, with landmark legal victories, including, libel in fiction, in “Batra v. Dick Wolf.” He is Chairman & CEO, Greenstar Global Energy Corp., King Danylo of Galicia International Ltd., Mars & Pax Advisors, Ltd., Chairman of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, and since September 2021, Advisor for Legal and Humanitarian Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations. He is invited by various governments to address High Level Ministerial events, including, on Counter-Terrorism, including, Astana (Nur-Sultan), Dushanbe, Minsk and Delhi. He has testified in Congress as an invitee of the Chair, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and interacted with U.S. Department of State from 1984 -1990, and then again, from 2006, during the tenures of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo and Antony Blinken.

He has served as Commissioner of New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Trustee on New York State IOLA Board, New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the Second Judicial Department, City Bar’s Judicial Committee, Vice-Chair of Kings County Democratic County Committee’s Independent Judicial Screening Committee for the then-2nd Judicial Department of Brooklyn and Staten Island, Chair of NYSTLA’ Judicial Independence Committee, with many more bar leadership roles, including, NYSBA’s House of Delegates for four years. He has served as Advisor for Legal & Human Rights Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine post-annexation of Crimea till 2021, and Legal Advisor to numerous nations’ permanent missions to the U. N. since 2009, including, India, Pakistan, Honduras and Malta. He has served: as Global Special Counsel to The Antonov Company in Ukraine, a state-owned company, and was registered with the Justice Dept pursuant to FARA; and as Special Global Advisor to Rector/President of both - National Aviation University of Ukraine and National Technical University of Ukraine/KPI. He remains involved in geopolitics and public policy since the mid-1980's, starting with being on House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s Speaker’s Club and appointed member of NACSAA during President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. In 1988, he was part of U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese’s Delegation to Japan to resolve bilateral trade imbalance. He regularly interacts with the multilateral diplomatic community, and during the High Level UNGA Debate, with heads of State/Government. He is sought for his views as a speaker and writer. 

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