[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Profile: Shinzo Abe

Japanese prime minister says having experienced failure in politics encourages him to "give everything for his country".

Last Modified: 21 Jul 2013 10:04
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Abe hails from a high-profile political family and is the grandson of a former prime minister [GALLO/GETTY]

Japan's Shinzo Abe became prime minister for a second time following the landslide victory of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the December 2012 general election.

He had made a comeback to Japan's political stage just three months before, when he was elected as the leader of the LDP.

As a prime minister he has focused on economic reforms and introduced a new policy to kick-start Japan's economy, dubbed as "Abenomics" or "three arrows", promising monetary stimulus, fiscal stimulus and structural reforms.

Hailing from a high-profile political family, Abe previously held the position of prime minister in 2006, becoming the youngest person to hold the post since World War II.

He resigned in 2007 citing ill health, after his administration took a hit when numerous scandals involving himself and his ministers were exposed.

In 1993, he won his first seat in parliament and rose to national fame after adopting a tough stance toward neighbouring North Korea in a feud over Japanese citizens kidnapped by Pyongyang.

Ten years later, he became the secretary-general of the LDP – which then held the majority in parliament.

During his short premiership in 2006-07, he pushed for an assertive foreign policy and a greater role for Japan on the world stage as well as calling for a greater sense of national pride.

Political family

Born in Yamaguchi, Abe studied political science from Seikei University in Japan before pursuing a degree in politics at the University of Southern California.

Shintaro Abe, his father, was the foreign minister of Japan from 1982 to 1986. His grandfather, former prime minister Nobusuke Kishi, was a suspected of committing war crimes in World War II, but was never tried.

Kishi unsuccessfully attempted to revise Japan’s 1947 constitution, which was drafted by the United States.

Kishi’s policies, however, seem to have shaped Abe’s agenda, as he advocates for the revision of Japan’s post-World War II pacifist constitution and adopting a more assertive diplomacy while becoming an equal partner with the United States.

His agenda also includes "escaping the post-war regime", which calls for strengthening Japanese morals and national pride after the US occupation.

He has pledged to right Japan’s listless economy, which has suffered years of deflation, made worse by a soaring currency that has put pressure on exporters.

In a magazine article, Abe stated that he has experienced failure as a politician which motivates him to "give everything for Japan".

He wrote about his position on national pride being unchanged, and claimed the disputed islands were "inherently Japanese territory" .

Diplomats consider Abe to be a realistic and pragmatic politician, but others say he is also ideologically driven. 

434

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.