Focus

Key moments for Abe and Japan

Japan's Shinzo Abe is one of the strongest leaders in its postwar history. Here are some events that have shaped his worldview.

•1941-44: Abe's grandfather Nobusuke Kishi serves in the wartime cabinet of Gen. Hideki Tojo. After World War II he is arrested by Allied forces for suspected war crimes, but is never charged.

•1957: Kishi becomes prime minister. He is forced to resign in 1960 after protests against a revised US-Japan security treaty that he signed.

•1946-60: Japan's "economic miracle" takes off. The country's economy grows at an average annual rate of 9.38 percent during these years.

Recommended: Think you know Japan? Take our quiz to find out.

•1964: Tokyo hosts the Summer Olympic Games, the first Olympics to be awarded to an Asian nation. Abe watches as a 10-year-old.

•1982-86: Abe's father, Shintaro Abe, serves as foreign minister.

•1990-95: Japan's economic growth falls to an annual average of 1.28 percent after an asset price bubble breaks. Economic growth is stagnant during the 1990s, which came to be called the "lost decade."

•December 2012: Abe is elected to a second term as prime minister, after briefly holding office from 2006 to 2007. His 2012 election makes him the seventh prime minister in just over six years.

•December 2013: Abe disregards warnings from Japan's neighbors and allies and visits the Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo, where 14 Class A war criminals are memorialized among 2.5 million war dead.

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