Shinzo Abe, former Japanese PM, was shot from behind when he started his speech in western Japan’s Nara. This assassination shocked the nation, and there is an international outpouring of grief.
Abe was the longest-serving Prime Minister of Japan and got shot in a political campaign. The local media reported the incident as “absolutely unforgivable.”
The former PM was assassinated before noon in the western region of Nara while campaigning for upper house elections. He was rushed by a helicopter to the Nara Medical University hospital. After several hours of treatment for severe injuries, he died aged 67.
Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party member, a national broadcaster NHK, informed about his death. “Former Prime Minister Abe died at a hospital while receiving medical treatment in Kashihara city, Nara. He was 67”, He said.
Jiji and Kyodo reported his death widely across the nation and by Japanese news agencies.
The assassination of Japan’s well-known politician occurred despite the country’s strict gun laws. The former PM was shot dead while campaigning for the upper house elections.
The Prime Minister also abandoned his campaign and flew to Tokyo by helicopter. He addressed reporters in an emotionally wavered voice.
He said, “Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot and I have been informed that his condition is critical.”
“My prayers are with the former prime minister, and Abe will survive,” he added. He also condemned the act, saying, “a barbaric act during the election campaign, which is democracy’s foundation.”
“The act is absolutely unforgivable and I condemn this act in the strongest terms.”
During Abe’s speech, this heinous act came before noon in a western region of Nara. There was security present, but spectators were able to approach him easily.
Footage shown by NHK showed him standing and delivering a speech when a man dressed in a gray shirt and brown trousers started approaching him. Then he drew something from his bag and started to fire. At least, he fired two shots, each producing a smoke cloud.
After firing, the spectators and the reporters ducked, and the man was shown being tackled to the ground. The security arrested him on suspicion of murder, as said by the reports.
The local chapter of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party officials rejected any information about threats. They said there had been no threats before the incident, and his speech had been announced publicly.
Shinzo Abe’s Political Legacy
Shinzo Abe remained as Prime Minister in 2006 for one year and then again from 2012 to 2020. Then he was forced to step down due to the debilitating bowel condition, ulcerative colitis.
Abe was a hawkish conservative and pushed the revision of Japan’s pacifist constitution to recognize the country’s military. Even after his resignation as a Japanese Prime Minister, he has remained a prominent political figure.
The former PM was from a wealthy family, and his father was a foreign minister. His grandfather also served as the premier of the country.