Finance fishing boats

Without land, the Mantas of Bangladesh live – and die – on boats

TOKYO: Days after the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his party vowed to use its victory in the legislative elections to achieve its unfinished goals, including strengthening the army and revising the pacifist constitution country’s post-war era.
While the comfortable majority won by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito on Sunday could allow Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to rule uninterrupted until an election scheduled for 2025, Abe’s loss has also opened a period of uncertainty for his party. The promised constitutional amendment, for its part, has faced an uphill battle.
In a country where gun crimes are extremely rare, Abe’s shooting shook the nation and Japanese people flocked to a Buddhist temple on Monday to mourn their former leader, as police explored a possible motive.
Kishida, meanwhile, hailed his party’s victory but also acknowledged it was entering a new era without the towering politician, who even after stepping down as prime minister in 2020 remained a force in the party and national politics.
“Because we lost a great leader, we could definitely be affected in many ways,” Kishida said. “Our party must unite as we face difficult issues.”
Experts said Abe, a kingmaker and leader of the party’s largest wing, had no clear successor and his absence could spark a power struggle among members of that faction.
“Mr. Abe’s absence and his grip on power within the party could give Mr. Kishida more freedom to take his own initiative,” said Koichi Nakano, professor of international politics at Sophia University in Tokyo. . Kishida enjoyed a relatively high approval rating for his perceived effort to listen to people. That suggests support could rise for his more moderate stance — and fall for Abe’s more conservative approach, Nakano said.
But he added that any significant change in direction would be difficult for Kishida and would take time. Much of Japan’s current diplomatic and security policies, such as strengthening the Japan-US alliance and promoting a free and open Asia-Pacific region to counter the rise of China, have been set. by Abe and remained unchanged, he said.
Kishida said responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising prices would be his priorities. But he also pledged to push to bolster Japan’s national security and change the constitution, which only allows the country’s military to act in self-defense.
Abe, along with some of the country’s ultraconservatives, viewed the document drafted by the United States in the aftermath of World War II as a humiliation and have long sought to give a greater international role to the country’s military, called Self. DefenseForce. But many members of the public are more supportive of the document and see tackling the pandemic and soaring costs for food, fuel and childcare as more urgent.
“We will inherit his will and address the issues he had to leave unfinished,” Kishida said.
To propose a constitutional amendment, both houses of parliament must support it by a two-thirds majority. Sunday’s vote gave the LDP-led coalition and two opposition parties open to a charter review that leeway in the upper house of parliament.
Pundits have suggested Abe’s killing may have won his party sympathy votes, and the ruling coalition alone now holds 146 of the House’s 248 seats. The four parties together control 179. This group of four parties also has the necessary seats in the most powerful lower house.
Yet it is far from clear: the Komeito, the centrist party that is part of the ruling coalition, says there is no need to change the article of the constitution that imposes constraints on the army. Additionally, any amendment would need to gain a majority of support in a national referendum to pass.
Abe, who resigned as prime minister two years ago citing health reasons, said at the time that he regretted leaving many of his goals unfinished, including revising the constitution.
On Monday evening, a vigil was held for Abe at a Buddhist temple in downtown Tokyo, where Kishida and top former and current political leaders, as well as ordinary mourners, paid their respects. Some burst into tears.
A funeral is scheduled at the temple on Tuesday by his family. The government is expected to hold a separate memorial service at a later date.
Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Kishida to offer his condolences and deliver a letter from President Joe Biden to Abe’s family.
“We just want them to know that we deeply feel the loss on a personal level as well,” Blinken told Kishida. “Most of the time I’m here because the United States and Japan are more than allies, we’re friends.”
Also on Monday, Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-Te paid tribute at Abe’s Tokyo residence. Lai in his Facebook called Abe “a good friend who loves and supports Taiwan”. Abe was known as a strong supporter of Taiwan.
Japan’s longest-serving political leader, Abe was the grandson of another prime minister and became the country’s youngest leader in 2006, aged 52. This mandate ended abruptly a year later, also because of his health.
He returned to the premiership in 2012, promising to revitalize the nation and lift its economy out of its deflationary slump with his “Abenomics” formula, which combines fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reforms. He won six national elections and gained a solid grip on power.
On Sunday, the suspect charged with her murder was transferred to the local prosecutor’s office for further investigation. They can detain him for up to three weeks while deciding to file a formal complaint.
Police say the suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, told investigators he acted on rumors that Abe was linked to an organization that had a grudge against him. Some Japanese media identified the group as the Unification Church of South Korea and reported that the suspect’s mother had donated large sums of money to the church. They suggested that donations and his subsequent bankruptcy were a possible motive.
The church’s Japanese branch acknowledged on Monday that the suspect’s mother was a member, but denied demanding large donations from anyone.
Tomihiro Tanaka, head of the church, declined to comment on details of the donations, saying a police investigation was ongoing. Speaking generally, he confirmed that some people had made generous donations, but stressed that none were forced.
Tanaka said Abe was not a member despite supporting his global peace movement.