Assassination of Former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo

Yi Nicholls –

Protest against holding a state funeral for Abe Shinzo, September 19, 2022

The young assassin of former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo said he was driven to do so by the close association of Abe and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) with the religious sect known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, formerly known as the Unification Church for World Christianity or Moonies. The assassin said the church extorted from his vulnerable mother the family's business and wealth after the death of his father. The Unification church has been successfully prosecuted on numerous occasions for extorting money from followers using a wide range of consumer crimes such as "spiritual sales" of exorbitantly priced goods.

The Moonies have become a cause celebre in Japan since the assassination of Abe on July 7. The LDP ruling cartel party itself poured fuel on the flames with the announcement that a state funeral for Abe will be held, which will cost millions of dollars, and demanding the entire nation observe a minute of silence. Abe himself is widely unpopular for introducing harsh anti-social measures during his tenure and using state resources and influence to line the pockets of his family and other privileged private interests. He also became a darling of the U.S. imperialists as a global mouthpiece for resurgent Japanese militarism and the desire of the ruling elite to use the Japanese military abroad either within or in support of U.S./NATO aggression in violation of Article Nine of Japan's post-war constitution, which Abe wanted to remove.

Under pressure, the ruling LDP cartel party has revealed that most of its cabinet members and half its Diet (Parliament) members have close relations with the Moonies. The relationship goes both ways with members from the groups actively participating in each others' activities and exchanging funds and doing their wishes.

A key joint activity since 1967 has been active participation in Japan, south Korea and elsewhere in the Moonies' International Federation for Victory over Communism. The backdrop or political means for this participation is the continuing U.S. military occupation of Japan and Korea following WWII and the global political/military campaign to "contain communism."

The U.S. imperialists used their post-war police powers in Japan to fashion Westminster-style liberal democratic institutions, including a fictitious person of state in the hereditary Shinto Emperor, as a political front to maintain control and bring former members of the Japanese military government and elite back into power. The Abe ruling militarist family became an important weapon for the U.S. occupation to maintain control and suppress the post-war anti-militarist movement for the people's right to be in control of all affairs that affect their lives within modern democratic political forms and institutions rather than be subjects of an economic and political elite dictating the affairs of all and sundry.

Abe family members were active in the war-time military government and after. In 1957 Abe Shinzo's grandfather Kishi Nobusuke became Prime Minister. Abe's younger brother Kishi Nobuo is the current Defence Minister and other family members have held and currently hold important economic and political positions.[1] Along with others in the ruling elite, they are active in the LDP, other cartel parties, Moonies and the International Federation for Victory over Communism. The Japanese newspaper Akahata reports, "Since 2014 alone, interviews and speeches of more than 80 LDP national and local legislators have appeared in the media affiliated with the ‘International Federation for Victory over Communism,' an integral group of the Moonies." During the sixties the Moonies became entrenched in Japanese cartel party politics, especially with the LDP, using their members to finance and campaign in elections.

Following the war, the Japanese ruling elite formed a political force to further the U.S.-led global campaign for the "containment of communism." The political aspect of the "containment" of the people's striving for the New is the liberal democratic cartel party system and its control of Japan's political affairs. The military side was the U.S. military occupation of Japan and south Korea, which continues today alongside the rapid growth of the Japanese military.

Together, the political and military aspects launch continuous provocations and threats against the DPRK, China and all others in the Indo-Pacific region who may dare to break away from U.S. hegemony. The military side was revealed soon after the war with Japan's active support of U.S. aggression against Korea during the Korean War and again as a staging ground and supplier to the U.S. military during its war of aggression in Vietnam. It continues today by allowing scores of U.S. military bases and naval ports on Japanese territory to intimidate the people and threaten its neighbours.

In the context of the U.S. fight to maintain its global hegemony, the LDP and other militarists want to shed all restraints and participate fully in U.S./NATO military activities worldwide. For this, they seek to wreck any anti-war public opinion and features of it in public life, such as Article Nine in the post-war Japanese constitution which prohibits the Japanese military from threatening or engaging in wars abroad. Former prime minister Abe was the foremost spokesperson for this militarist activity along with the anti-social offensive and for doing so is revered by the U.S. imperialists and their allies.

Opposition to a State Funeral for Abe

Protest against holding a state funeral for Abe Shinzo, September 19, 2022

Opposition is growing to holding a state funeral for Abe with many polls revealing rapidly sinking support for the LDP government.[2] Zenkyo (All Japan Teachers and Staff Union) on September 2 made a representation to the education minister, demanding that the ministry not force public schools to express condolences during the proposed state funeral for former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Current Prime Minister Kishida Fumio announced on August 31 that all government ministries and institutions must display sympathy for former prime minister Abe during the state funeral. Zenkyo said the government demand is unacceptable as it equates to the imposition on public schools the need to express condolences over Abe's death. Zenkyo urged the Education Ministry to instruct local education boards and municipalities not to make a request to fly a mourning flag and offer a moment of Kokko-roren (Japan Federation of National Public Service Employees' Unions) also issued a statement criticizing the Kishida government decision to display the national flag at half-mast and observe a moment of silence at each ministry and agency. Kokko-roren points out that to order national government workers to observe a moment of silence during the state funeral violates the people's freedom of thought and conscience and may even violate Article 19 of the constitution.

Earlier, 60 religious figures from all the major religions in Japan submitted to the Cabinet Office a joint statement demanding it withdraw the decision to hold a state funeral for Abe Shinzo on the grounds that the state authority does not have the right or authority to impose on the general public a need to express condolences over Abe's death.

Demonstrations opposing the state funeral are occurring throughout Japan such as the large one in Tokyo on September 19, with thousands of participants.

This article was published in
Volume 52 Number 9 - September, 2022

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