After a Brutal Assassination, Japan Mourns and Carries On

 

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Then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan on the G7 summit assembly in Biarritz, France, on Aug. 25, 2019. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)

TOKYO — A day after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a political rally, the police in Japan confronted sharp questions concerning the adequacy of his safety, at the same time as parliamentary candidates resumed campaigning Saturday, in a signal that regardless of the tragedy, political life was carrying on.

White vans bearing massive images of politicians and blaring their names from loudspeakers rode by means of the streets. Candidates fist-bumped with supporters and posed for selfies. And politicians, many from Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, made their last appeals to voters earlier than an election Sunday, within the shadow of deep mourning.

Standing on a truck within the glitzy Ginza style district of central Tokyo, Akiko Ikuina, an LDP candidate and former pop idol working for a seat in Japan’s Upper House, cried as she mentioned that “those of us who are left behind must help make Abe’s vision for our country come true.” During a second of silence, among the a whole lot of supporters within the viewers wept.

It is frequent throughout Japanese marketing campaign stops for politicians to mingle freely with voters, maintaining nearly no distance between themselves and the group.

But the convenience with which a lone gunman might carry a selfmade tape-wrapped weapon as much as Abe, as soon as one of many world’s strongest leaders, could lead some in Japan to rethink that openness.

In the wake of Abe’s assassination — in a nation the place gun deaths are a rarity, not to mention the gunning down of a main political determine — Japan was solely starting to course of the shock.

Hundreds of individuals in Nara lined up Saturday to pay their respects to Abe at a makeshift memorial on the web site close to the Yamato-Saidaiji railway station the place he was assassinated. Even as rain poured down within the midafternoon, guests of all ages stood in line.

In Tokyo, as political candidates wrapped up their campaigns, life continued at tempo. In Shibuya, town’s in style procuring and leisure district, crowds thronged style shops, and cafes and eating places have been full. A flag at Tokyo Dome flew at half-staff because the Yomiuri Giants performed the Yokohama DeNA Baystars, however there was no second of silence earlier than the sport.

This article initially appeared in The New York Times .

 

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