As Japan Bids Farewell to Ex-PM Shinzo Abe, a Look at His Photo From 1957

Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving prime minister of Japan, was assassinated on 8 July in Nara.

2 min read
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As Japan bids adieu to Shinzo Abe on Tuesday, 12 July, an old photograph of the former prime minister is being widely circulated, which shows his grandfather being sworn in as prime minister of the nation in 1957.

In the photo, Shinzo Abe (front right) is held by his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi (front centre) when Kishi was sworn in as new prime minister in February 1957.

Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving prime minister of Japan, was assassinated on 8 July in Nara.

Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving prime minister of Japan, remained in office from 26 December 2012 to 16 September 2020. He had briefly served in the top post from 2006-2007 as well.

Abe was shot in the city of Nara on 8 July while delivering a speech.

His father, Shintaro Abe, was a leading member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He served as foreign minister from 1982 to 1986.

Shinzo Abe's maternal grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, was prime minister from 1957 to 1960. Kishi is known for his exploitative rule of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo in Northeast China in the 1930s, and was given the sobriquet "Monster of the Shōwa era."

He later served in the wartime cabinet of Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō as Minister of Commerce and Vice Minister of Munitions, and co-signed the declaration of war against the United States in December 1941.

Interestingly, Shinzo Abe's wife, Akie Matsuzaki is popularly known as the "domestic opposition party" due to her outspoken views, which often contradicted her husband's.

Shinzo Abe's Funeral

With prayers, flowers, and black ribbons, Japan bid farewell to the late former prime minister on Tuesday. Crowds packed the streets amid heavy police presence as the hearse carrying Abe departed from a central Tokyo temple, reported news agency Reuters.

Many had gathered at the Zojoji temple in Tokyo to pay their respects ahead of a private funeral for Abe, who was assassinated last week. The funeral ceremony was only open to family and close friends.

Following the funeral, the hearse carrying Abe’s body was taken through the centre of Tokyo, passing landmarks such as the parliament building that Abe first entered as a young legislator in 1993 and the office from which he led the nation.

Abe's remains will be cremated at Tokyo's Kirigaya Funeral Hall on Tuesday.

The 67-year-old leader was assassinated at a public event on Friday. A 41-year-old man, identified as Yamagami Tetsuya, was arrested for the murder.

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Topics:  Japan   Japanese PM Shinzo Abe 

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