Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the recipient of World Leader for Peace and Security Award 2015 and a distinguished contributor of the book “Remaking the World – Toward an Age of Global Enlightenment.”
Abe, more than any modern political leader of Japan, paved the way for security reform in Tokyo.
During his second tenure as prime minister in the early to mid-2010s, he sparked changes. The parliament passed a state secrets law that set stiff penalties for mishandling documents and for leaking information. Abe set up a National Security Council, modeled in part after the U.S. version, to advise the prime minister.
Antiwar and civil-liberties activists protested the reforms, claiming they were infringing on privacy rights and voicing concerns about an expanding national security state. But by 2013, when the law was passed, the geopolitical landscape had shifted. The public had come to see that decades of a nominal commitment to self-defense had only emboldened a rising Beijing.
China had aggressively responded to Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands, flooding the waters off the islands with Coast Guard vessels and maritime militia. In the South China Sea, it was turning remote atolls into military outposts seemingly overnight. President Xi Jinping had come to power, accelerating a vast military modernization. Meanwhile, North Korea continued provocative nuclear tests.
Abe was assassinated in July 2022, but his legacy lives on. Over the last decade, attitudes toward China have hardened: Today, a majority of Japanese view the Chinese government unfavorably, while support for the U.S. alliance is at an all-time high.
Yasuhida Nakayama, former State Minister of Defense, a Global Enlightenment Leader, and Coordinator of Shinzo Abe Initiative for Peace and Security said “The ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ initiative advocated by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe feels like a concept that holds the potential and necessity to thrive geopolitically in this 21st century.
What I wanted to emphasize is that the mandatory implementation of the nine-dash line by private companies is indeed a concern. Moreover, the underlying preparations by the Chinese Communist Party through the National Defense Mobilization Law and the Anti-Spy Law might potentially exacerbate the enforcement of the nine-dash line, as pointed out by professors and experts.”
‘A free and open Indo-Pacific’: With a single phrase, Shinzo Abe changed America’s view of Asia and China, by CNN https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/20/asia/shinzo-abe-legacy-china-japan-indo-pacific-intl-hnk/index.html