Abe’s Assassination, Johnson’s Resignation and More

Abe’s Assassination, Johnson’s Resignation and More
Then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers a question during a press conference in Tokyo, March 14, 2020 (AP photo by Eugene Hoshiko).

The news of former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s assassination yesterday was shocking on a number of levels. First, for reasons specific to Japan, given that gun violence is almost nonexistent in the country, and political violence, though it occurs, is exceedingly rare. Second, because of the ways in which national leaders, even in democracies, take on the trappings of divine incarnation, making an assassination akin to deicide. Abe no longer held office, but as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister and in the absence of a convincing successor, he still possessed the aura of leadership. It’s easy to forget, too, that […]

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