The funeral of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot on July 8, was held on Tuesday at the Zojo-ji Temple in Tokyo. While the murder of Abe continues to shock Japan and the world, the analysis of Abe has also caused controversies due to various positions and values.
U.S. public broadcaster National Public Radio (NPR) was recently ripped off by conservatives for its analysis of Abe. When reporting Abe’s murder, NPR described Abe as a “divisive arch-conservative.” After facing intense reaction from U.S. conservatives, the media outlet was forced to remove such a description and refer to Abe as an “ultranationalist” instead.
“In fact, these American conservatives did not seek justice for Abe out of love or compassion, but they did it because Abe had a close relationship with Donald Trump, an icon of the conservatives,” Jiao said. Kun, a School lecturer. of History at Wuhan University. This is the logic behind the attacks by US conservatives on NPR. Trump has a very good personal relationship with Abe: The former Japanese prime minister was among the first foreign leaders to call to congratulate Trump on his election. Conservatives have argued that NPR is using Abe to attack Trump by portraying Abe as an arch-conservative.
NPR is not the only media outlet to assess Abe in this way. CBS Mornings also called Abe a “polarizing figure” and “right-wing nationalist,” whose “political opinions are controversial.” Both CBS and NPR lean on liberal positions, while the latter is somewhat more centered.
Some US politicians and netizens have commemorated Abe as an “anti-China fighter” or “a fighter against the CPC.” Congressman Dan Crenshaw tweeted on Friday that “Abe is a fighter who has recognized the threat from China and called for unity in standing up to it. He will be missed but not forgotten.” Such an analysis of Abe is primarily driven by the geopolitical mindset of dealing with China.
“In the context of intensifying competition between China and the US, Abe has been a major trumpeter and flag bearer of the US detention policy against China in the Asia-Pacific. Japan under Abe has really served the interests of The US, which led Washington to pay more attention to Japan’s role in China’s presence in the Asia-Pacific region, ”Zhang Tengjun, deputy director of the Department for Asia-Pacific Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told Global Times. After he left the office, Abe caused more trouble in question in Taiwan with reckless speech.
Certainly there are different perspectives when it comes to how to define Abe’s legacy. It is impossible to expect the Chinese media and netizens to forget this when commenting on Abe’s death. South Korean media and netizens also cited Abe’s refusal to apologize on the issue of “comfort women”.
But when Chinese media and web users pointed out the negative aspects of Abe’s political career, and studied carefully about the impact of Abe’s death, they were accused of “shaping Abe’s unpopular image.” The Diplomat referred to a Global Times report that argued that “Japanese right -wing forces could use this incident to push the trend of conservative change in Japanese politics” as “controversial” and “nationalist.”
As the longest -serving prime minister in Japanese history, Abe is a complex and controversial politician. As the connection between Abe and the conservative religious group Unification Church was exposed, Abe’s image became more complex, adding another dimension to how to evaluate conservative Japanese politics. The relationships between Abe and this religious group, which has been ridiculed as a cult by critics, are no secret. Last year, Abe recorded a video congratulatory message played at the “Rally of Hope” summit organized by an NGO run by Unification Church.
The analysis of Abe Shinzo should be objective, rational, fact-based and multi-dimensional. The smear and attack of Abe’s objective media analysis was driven by either brainless political accuracy or evil geopolitical motives, which only deceived the public.