Giving tribute to the deceased former Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister Albanese described him as a ’true patriot.’
But that is not the image emerging in Japan as Mr Abe’s 41 year old, loner assassin, Tetsuya Yamagami, starts to reveal his motives.
Go to Moritomo Gakuen in Wikipedia and you will find the ugly details – details especially ugly for an Australia which once faced the threat of Japanese militarism and about which Mr Albanese seems to have been ignorant.
It appears that Mr Abe’s wife, Akie Abe, had a close friendship with an unrepentant nationalistic militarist, Yasunori Kagoike, who operated a kindergarten where children had to recite Japan’s prewar Imperial Rescript on Education.
The Rescript laid down the Emperor worshiping doctrines which underlay the vicious militarism that brought Japan’s soldiers so close to Australia’s shores.
In 2017 Kagoike wanted land to expand the school. Mrs Abe, as honorary principal of the school, was used to pressure the national Ministry of Finance to sell the land at a tiny fraction of its real value.
Exposed by relentless questioning from progressives, and following the suicide of the responsible bureaucrat, Mr Abe was forced to admit his wife’s role.
But as with two other equally unpleasant scandals dogging him as the same moment, Shinzo Abe was able to dodge direct responsibility, though it is very likely the scandals, and not just health problems, helped him decide to resign in 2020.
Soon after Mr Abe’s death it was known that the assassin, Yamagami, was motivated by Abe’s involvement with some kind of rightwing organisation.
But at the moment of writing only one TV channel has been willing to provide the motivation details as they emerge from Yamagami’s interrogation, namely Abe’s covering up his wife’s role in helping to promote the Moritomo Gakuen.
No doubt Japan’s nationalistic rightwing would regard Mr Abe as a ’true patriot’ for that role. But the rest of us?
Mr Albanese deserves to be better informed.
I have also discovered Mr Abe was also directly responsible for derailing Tokyo’s 2002 formal agreement – the Pyongyang Declaration – to provide aid and normalise relations with North Korea in exchange of a moratorium on nuclear missile testing.
Abe did it by claiming against all the evidence that Pyongyang was holding eight hundred possible (later amended to 17 definite) Japanese abducted during the seventies and early eighties.
The few who have tried to reveal the true situation – that most of the 13 abducted have died and the remaining five have returned to Japan – have been silenced. Two of the more notable truth seekers have been forced into North Korean-style confessions of error.
Meanwhile the long-suffering North Korean people have been forced to endure another 20 years of impoverished and tortured existence, while the rest of us continue to live under Pyongyang’s nuclear threat.
And the indications are this will continue indefinitely.
But what standards is the man directly responsible for this horror a ’true patriot’?