Shinzo Abe is a politician from Japan who formerly held the offices of Prime Minister of Japan from 2006 to 2007 and President of the Liberal Democratic Party from 2012 to 2020. He served as prime minister of Japan for the longest period of time.
Abe previously worked for Junichiro Koizumi as Chief Cabinet Secretary from 2005 to 2006, and he temporarily led the opposition in 2012.
In the 1993 election, Abe won a seat in the House of Representatives. In September 2005, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi appointed him Chief Cabinet Secretary.
In September 2006, he succeeded him as Prime Minister and LDP President. He was then approved as prime minister by a special session of the National Diet, becoming the first prime minister born after World War II and the youngest in Japan since the war.
Abe left his position as prime minister shortly after his party was defeated in the House of Councillors election of that year due to ulcerative colitis-related medical issues.
He was succeeded by Yasuo Fukuda, who was the first of five prime ministers to leave office before serving for more than 16 months.
Abe unexpectedly made a political comeback following his illness, defeating former defense minister Shigeru Ishiba in a vote to win the LDP presidency for a second time in September 2012.
He became the first former prime minister to retake the post since Shigeru Yoshida in 1948 after the LDP’s overwhelming victory in the general election that December.
He became Japan’s longest-serving prime minister after leading the LDP to two additional victories in landslides in the elections of 2014 and 2017.
Abe announced his second resignation as prime minister in August 2020 and gave the reason that his ulcerative colitis had significantly worsened.
On September 16, after the Diet chose Yoshihide Suga as his replacement as Chief Cabinet Secretary, he submitted his letter of resignation.
Shinzo Abe Early Life
For decades, Shinzo Abe’s family was one of Japan’s most influential political and business families. Abe was born and raised in Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and his family’s origins can be traced back to the area.
A Japanese puppet state in northern China called Manchukuo was established by Japan during World War II, and his maternal grandfather Nobusuke Kishi was the “economy king” of occupied China in the pre-war years.
In post-war Japan, Kishi was held in Sugamo Prison as a suspected “Class-A” war criminal by the US military, but he was released and eventually de-purged as part of the Occupation’s “reverse course” after the war ended.
According to Abe, “Some individuals used to point my grandfather as a “Class-A war crime suspect,” and I felt a deep revulsion. I was disgusted by this.” My emotional attachment to ‘conservatism,’ on the other hand, may stem from that experience.
A founding member of the Liberal Democratic Party, Kishi became Japan’s Prime Minister in 1957 and stayed in that position until his death in 1960.
Shinzo Abe Personal Life
Hironobu Abe, Abe’s elder brother, became president and CEO of Mitsubishi Shji Packaging Corporation, while Nobuo Kishi, Abe’s younger brother, became a senior vice-minister in the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
In 1987, Abe married Akie Matsuzaki, a socialite and former radio disc jockey. She is the president’s daughter at Morinaga, a chocolate company.
Because of her outspoken views, which frequently contradict her husband’s, she is generally known as the “domestic opposition party.”
Following her husband’s first term as Prime Minister, she founded an organic izakaya in Tokyo’s Kanda area, but she is no longer involved in administration at the suggestion of her mother-in-law.
The couple has no children because they tried and failed to conceive children early in their marriage.