The Straits Times says

Abe's legacy in shaping Asia's future

Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

The assassination of Mr Shinzo Abe, two years after he left office as Japan's longest-serving post-war prime minister, was senseless, shocking and barbaric. Individuals may have fundamental differences with politicians over issues and policies, but there is simply no justification for taking the life of a public servant who served his country. Mr Abe was shot on Friday while campaigning in the city of Nara for one of his party's candidates for the Upper House election. The assassin, identified as a former Maritime Self-Defence Force member, is in custody and interrogation will no doubt reveal his wider motives, and backers, if any. The world mourns a progressive leader and Asia has lost one of its most significant statesmen in recent times.

In his death, Japan and the world are getting a fuller measure of Mr Abe's legacy. Two years into retirement - abdominal illnesses had long plagued him - it is remarkable to consider that at 67, he had already served two stints as premier, the last stretching to eight years. Although out of office, his influence endured: He led the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's largest faction, his brother is defence minister, and bureaucrats routinely came by to update him on policy, particularly national security issues. In retirement, he was very much the watchful elder statesman. Some even called him the Shadow Shogun.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.