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His Excellency Shinzō Abe: A Statesman Dedicated to Japan’s Future, Part 1 of 2

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On July 8, 2022, the world reeled in sorrow and shock as news spread of the sudden passing of His Excellency Shinzō Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. Tributes poured in from global leaders, distinguished VIPs, and citizens. Throughout his career, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe performed his civic duties with grace and humility and was viewed by people as a kind and approachable man. He was noted for his attentiveness and compassion and was highly regarded as a decisive political strategist, earning him widespread admiration upon the international stage.

When his father passed away in 1991, Shinzō Abe was nominated as a candidate for his vacated seat in Yamaguchi Prefecture for the House of Representatives of Japan. Mr. Abe quickly became recognized as a skilled political agent as well as a successful administrator. Holding several ministerial positions, he was motivated by a desire to reorient Japanese social conviction from a nation heavily burdened by defeat after 1945, to one that had a dignified and influential position on the world stage.

When His Excellency Prime Minister Koizumi resigned, Shinzō Abe was subsequently elected by LDP members to be the new prime minister of Japan, taking effect on the 26th of September 2006. His Excellency Shinzō Abe’s leadership of Japan at this time placed an emphasis on foreign relations. His diplomacy with the northern part of Korea remained firm, and he was also instrumental in strengthening international relationships with China and the Asia-Pacific region. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe also initiated the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, known as Quad, a forum created between the nations of Japan, Australia, the United States of America, and India, demonstrating security within the Indo-Pacific region.

Perhaps nothing can better demonstrate the humanist qualities and heartfelt compassion, of Shinzō Abe, than his participation in the Japan Spirit Concert held in October 2021. Prime Minister Abe played this song for the Japanese people in the midst of the pandemic, encouraging them by saying: “I hope that we can overcome the crisis together in the spirit of mutual help and support.” He humbly submitted a piano performance via video link, saying it was “the first time practicing in 60 years.” We will now listen to this touching performance, as we close today’s program.
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