Journalistin, Aufnahmeleiterin & Filmemacherin in Japan

Reporting frenzy after assassination of former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe

The assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Ae sparked intense media interest around the world. For this Japan correspondent, it meant doing an unprecedented number of live interviews on TV.

On 8 July, 2024, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot to death while giving a campaign speech for a House of Councillors election candidate in the former imperial city of Nara. When the news first came in, Abe had just been taken to hospital. Then, after much speculation, just a few hours later he was declared dead.

The reasons behind the attack were initially unclear. Abe had made many enemies over the years with his highly conservative and nationalist politics, and his proximity to right-wing circles. Eventually it became known that the man who killed the politician with a weapon he had made himself apparently harbored a grudge against the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, widely known as the Unification Church. His mother had donated as much as 100 million Yen to the organisation. The perpetrator said he targeted Abe because he thought there was a connection.

On that day alone I was asked to do over a dozen live reports on camera for three German TV stations: the English service of Deutsche Welle, ad the German channels Welt TV and NTV. A couple more live reports followed in the days thereafter, overall I think almost 20 – all of this while preparing the second shoot of my documentary „Rice Fields Instead of Tokyo“.

Newspapers in Germany and Switzerland also wanted to know how Japan felt about the death of a man whose perception abroad was widely different from how he was seen at home.

Print version NZZ am Sonntag (pdf)

Print version Welt (pdf)