8/July/2022 in Belgrade
I received many messages, asking
"News about Abe keeps showing up"
"Who is Abe? Is he a good guy?"
"Very unusual to hear gun incident in Japan" etc.
This attack and his death brought an enormous shock and sadness for people in Japan, even at this moment
Most of foreign news talks about the end of the myth about safe country Japan, or how rare a gun incident is in Japan, or attacking during the election campaign is an unacceptable attempt for democracy etc..
I think all these points are right. But what I've been vividly feeling since this morning is more about personal thing
It will be quite lengthy, in-consequential, empty, wordy, sentimental, overlong, inconsistent, ramblings of mine, so plz skip it if you don't want to waste your precious Friday fun evening
Abe is a politician, so obviously not everything he did was good, or bad. Or, right or wrong. Not black-and-white things. It just depends on personal views and political preferences
But apart from these kinds of things, I do felt some sort of close-ness and familiarity with him, and personally it's tightly related to my life abroad
The UK was the first country I lived in. I moved there in 2012. Back then Japan was covered by quite a negative and pessimistic mood, due to many reasons. And one of them was political in-stability.
From 2006-2012, Japan's prime minister changed every year, so most Japanese felt like "What's going on in our government?"
Then, Abe came and became the prime minister. It was 3 months after I left Japan for the UK.
Since then, he had been serving as PM for 8 years, which is the longest period in Japan's history.
There were pros and cons during this 8 years of his period, but Japan definitely became better and its atmosphere became quite different, compared to before 2012
During this 8 year, I was often abroad, so l actually didn't really experience these changes by myself. But I was seeing news from Japan everyday and I was kinda relieved
Because my country was managed relatively well while I was not there. And the one who managed the country was Abe
When Abe announced his resignation in Aug/2020 due to his serious illness, I did feel like something in my life came to an end
Back then, I was living in Warsaw and considering the leaving
So, news on Abe's resignation felt like Japan's stable period came to an end, and also my life in a foreign country also came to an end
And it was kinda true
After that, I left Warsaw and came back to Japan and couldn't get out for a long time, until 1 month ago when I left for Serbia
At that time, Aug/2020, massive political crush was happening in Poland's neighbouring country, Belarus
In Poland I had Belarusian friends and Poland accepted many Belarusians, and protests were often taking place in the city centre, so effect of this crush could be felt on the daily basis even in Warsaw
One day I noticed that Abe and Lukashenko are the same age
And I felt very strong vivid contrast between these 2 country leaders
One is stepping down spontaneously from the position, because of illness, and received lots of sympathies and favours from the people nationwide and worldwide
The other is trying to hold the position and using violences towards his innocent citizens and received enormous hate from the globe
This is just one of the episodes, and there are several others in relation to my life abroad and Abe
Looking back, whenever he became a big news, I was always abroad
When he became a prime minister, I was abroad
When he got most of the seats in the parliament for changing the constitution, I was abroad
When he had an intense meeting with the Russian president in Abe's hometown with a hope of solving the territorial dispute, I was abroad
When he announced an unprecedented postpone of the 2020's Olympics, I was abroad
When he became the longest-serving prime minister, I was abroad
When he resigned, I was abroad
And today, again, I am abroad
Now I am not sure what is ended inside me today, but surely this day will be remembered for the rest of my life