Manage episode 335323907 series 2484421
每日英語跟讀 Ep.K405: Shinzo Abe - Japan’s longest-serving prime minister
Shinzo Abe smashed records as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, championing ambitious economic reform and forging key diplomatic relationships while weathering scandals.
Nearly two years after poor health forced him to leave office, the 67-year-old was shot during a campaign event in the western region of Nara on Friday last week.
Abe was a sprightly 52 when he first became prime minister in 2006, the youngest person to occupy the job in the postwar era.
He was seen as a symbol of change and youth, but also brought the pedigree of a third-generation politician groomed from birth by an elite, conservative family. Abe’s first term was turbulent, plagued by scandals and discord, and capped by an abrupt resignation.
- They called it ‘Abenomics’ -
He ran again, and Japan’s revolving prime ministerial door brought him back to office in 2012.
It ended a turbulent period in which prime ministers sometimes changed at a rate of one a year.
With Japan still staggering from the effects of the 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster at Fukushima — and a brief opposition government lashed for flip-flopping and incompetence — Abe offered a seemingly safe pair of hands.
他再次參選，日本的首相旋轉門讓他在二○一二年再度擔任首相。 這終結了日本首相更替頻繁（有時只做了一年便下台）的動盪時期。 當時日本仍因二○一一年海嘯及之後福島核災的影響而步履蹣跚，以及短暫執政、被批評為政策出爾反爾及無能的反對黨政府——在此情況下，安倍看來是穩健的選擇。
And he had a plan: Abenomics.
The scheme to revive Japan’s economy — the world’s third-biggest, but more than two decades into stagnation — involved vast government spending, massive monetary easing and cutting red tape. Abe also sought to boost the country’s flagging birth rate by making workplaces more friendly to parents, particularly mothers.
He pushed through controversial consumption tax hikes to help finance nurseries and plug gaps in Japan’s overstretched social security system. While there was some progress with reform, the economy’s bigger structural problems remained. Deflation proved stubborn and the economy was in recession even before the coronavirus struck in 2020. Abe’s star waned further during the pandemic, with his approach criticized as confused and slow, driving his approval ratings down to some of the lowest of his tenure.
雖然改革取得了一些進展，但更大的經濟結構性問題依然存在。 事實證明，通貨緊縮很頑強，甚至在二○二○年冠狀病毒來襲之前，經濟就已陷入衰退。 安倍的光環在疫情期間變得更加黯淡，他的做法被批評為混亂及緩慢，讓他的支持率降至任期內最低。
- Political storms -
- 政治風暴 -
On the international stage, Abe took a hard line on North Korea, but sought a peacemaker role between the US and Iran. He prioritized a close personal relationship with Donald Trump in a bid to protect Japan’s key alliance from the then-US president’s “America First” mantra, and tried to mend ties with Russia and China.
But the results were mixed: Trump remained eager to force Japan to pay more for US troops stationed in the country, a deal with Russia on disputed northern islands stayed elusive, and a plan to invite Xi Jinping for a state visit fell by the wayside. Abe also pursued a hard line with South Korea over unresolved wartime disputes and continued to float plans to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution.
Throughout his tenure, he weathered political storms including cronyism allegations that dented approval ratings but did little to affect his power, in part thanks to the weakness of the opposition.
Abe had been due to stay on until late 2021, giving him an opportunity to see out one final event in his historic tenure — the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games.But in a shock announcement, he stepped down in August 2020, with a recurrence of ulcerative colitis ending his second term, too.
在他整個任期內，他經受住了政治風暴，包括裙帶關係的指控，這些指控讓他的支持率降低，但對他的權力幾乎沒有影響，部分原因是反對派的軟弱。安倍原定留任至二○二一年底，讓他有機會在史上最長任期內看見最後一件大事——延期的二○二○年東京奧運。 然而，他令人震驚地宣布在二○二○年八月下台，潰瘍性結腸炎的復發也結束了他的第二個任期。Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2022/07/12/2003781569
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