Jul 11 • 27M

The Assassination of Shinzo Abe and the Roots of Political Violence

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Conversations about conflict on an angry planet. 781951
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Former Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe was assassinated on June 8, 2022 while campaigning in the city of Nara.

It was a shocking attack because the West sees Japan as a largely peaceful society, free of guns, and prone to talking out its political problems instead of solving them with violence. The truth is, as always, far more complicated.

Japan is the country where famous author Yukio Mishima attempted a coup with the goal of inspiring the Self-Defense Forces into rising up in 1970. When it failed he committed Seppuku, a form or ritual suicide. Mishima wanted a return to the imagined glory days of Imperial Japan.

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