Here’s a look at the life of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Birth date: September 21, 1954
Birth place: Nagato, Japan (some sources say Tokyo)
Father: Shintaro Abe, former Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
Mother: Yoko Kishi
Marriage: Akie (Matsuzaki) Abe (1987-present)
Education: Seiki University, B.S. in Political Science, 1977; Attended the University of Southern California, 1978-1979
He was Japan’s first prime minister born after World War II.
His grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, was Japan’s prime minister from 1957 to 1960.
Abe’s great uncle, Eisuke Sato, was prime minister from 1964 to 1972. Sato was also a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
In early 2013, Abe launched a grand experiment designed to jolt Japan’s economy out of decades of stagnation. Known as “Abenomics,” it included three so-called arrows: massive monetary stimulus, increased government spending and significant economic reforms.
1977-1979 – Travels to the United States to study politics at the University of Southern California.
1993 – Abe is elected to Japan’s House of Representatives.
1999 – Becomes director of the Committee on Health and Welfare and also director of the LDP’s Social Affairs Division.
2000-2003 – Is the deputy chief cabinet secretary of the LDP.
2005-2006 – Chief cabinet secretary of the LDP.
September 26, 2006-September 25, 2007 – Prime minister of Japan.
March 1, 2007 – Abe sparks controversy by his claims that the foreign “comfort women” who staffed Japanese military brothels during WW II were not coerced into the work. He apologizes on March 26.
September 12, 2007 – Abe announces his resignation.
September 13, 2007 – Hospitalized at Keio University Hospital for gastrointestinal inflammation caused by exhaustion and stress.
September 25, 2007 – Abe dissolves his cabinet. Yasuo Fukuda becomes prime minister.
September 26, 2012 – Wins a run-off election for the leadership of the LDP.
December 16, 2012 – The LDP wins a landslide victory in elections.
December 26, 2012 – Is elected prime minister by the Japanese parliament.
December 26, 2013 – Visits a controversial war shrine in Tokyo, igniting a firestorm of criticism and condemnation among neighboring countries. The Yasukuni Shrine is regarded by China, North Korea and South Korea as a symbol of Japan’s imperial military past.
December 14, 2014 – Wins a landslide victory in his reelection.
August 14, 2015 – During a speech marking the 70th anniversary of World War II, Abe expresses his remorse for Japan’s participation in the war, but gives no new apology for its actions. Additionally, he says that future generations of Japanese should no longer need to keep apologizing.
September 8, 2015 – Is reelected president of the LDP.
September 25, 2017 – Calls a snap election to take advantage of higher opinion polls to secure a stronger mandate. Abe dissolves the lower house of parliament three days later. On October 22, Abe’s ruling coalition wins a clear majority with more than two-thirds of Parliament’s 465 seats.
May 4, 2018 – During a phone call, Abe speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the situation in the Korean Peninsula. This is the first time that the two leaders have ever spoken on the phone.
July 22, 2019 – Abe declares victory in Japan’s national elections after polls indicate his party has won a majority of seats in the upper house of Parliament. He is now set to be the country’s longest-serving prime minister.
August 28, 2020 – Abe announces his intention to resign, citing health reasons.
September 16, 2020 – Officially resigns as prime minister.
December 25, 2020 – Abe corrects statements he previously made in parliament, apologizing for unintentionally repeating false remarks regarding a political funding scandal. Though Abe has denied any wrongdoing, his former aide was fined for underrepresenting subsidized payments for supporters attending cherry blossom viewing parties.
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