Whatever one may have thought about Mr. Abe, the assassination of a once democratically elected leader is a tragedy (not so much in a dictatorship, because there is no other way of removing these people). Much has been said about the supposed lack of protection around Mr. Abe, but I think this does credit to Japan. It is good to live in a country in which important people feel safe enough not to have to surround themselves with a small army of bodyguards.
But I don’t want to talk about the event itself - rather its aftermath: the way in which the whole thing was handled with dignity and without superfluous drama. Can you imagine if this had happened in the U.S.? There would have been innumerable conspiracy theories 5 minutes after the shooting (‘It was the Far Right, the Far Left, Russians, Aliens’…you name it). And Hollywood would be planning a movie, and perhaps a sequel. But that didn’t happen here, and I don’t think it will.
Actually, the U.K. used to be like Japan. I remember watching footage of the funeral of Winston Churchill (apparently I was there, but I don’t remember). There was no drama, just hundreds of thousands of people standing quietly in the freezing cold to pay their respects to a man many believed - rightly or wrongly - had saved their country. It was dignified. No added drama necessary.
I don’t know exactly when this changed, but it certainly had by the time of Diana’s death. This was also tragic, as the untimely death of any young person is, but the hullabaloo and overblown emotion in the wake of it was unbelievable; this for a figure - and I have nothing against Diana - far, far less historically consequential than Churchill. As someone said, we live in an age in which hype completely overwhelms reality.
Anyway, I think (hope) I have made my point. I admire the way in which you have handled this tragedy.
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