Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe dies after being shot while campaigning : The former Japanese premier Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving leader, was declared to be dead in the early hours of Friday according to the hospital that treated him confirmed the death that he had been shot at a rally.
“Shinzo Abe was taken by ambulance to (the Hospital) at 12:20 pm. He was in the state of cardiac arrest when he arrived. The resuscitation procedure was initiated. Unfortunately, he passed away at 5:03pm.” explained Hidetada Fukushima who was a professor of emergency medicine in the Nara Medical University hospital.
Abe 67 delivered a speech, with security in attendance however, the audience was at a distance to be able to reach him quickly. NHK reported the suspect known as Tetsuya Yamagami, who told the police that he was unhappy with Abe and was planning to murder Abe. He was later arrested.
Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe dies after being
The suspect fired on Abe from behind using an apparently made-up gun while the suspect spoke on a dull area for traffic in the western part in Nara, Japanese media showed earlier.
The footage that was broadcast on NHK included footage of Abe standing on stage as a loud blast was heard. Smoke was clearly visible from the atmosphere.
Security officers were later confronted by a man wearing a grey T-shirt with beige pants.
This was the very first murder to an elected or former Japanese premier prior to the advent of prewar militarism during the 1930s.
Nara emergency services reported that the man was injured by a laceration on his right neck, as well as his left clavicle.
His brother, the Defence Minister Nobuo Kish, had earlier stated that Abe was receiving blood transfusions.
Before Abe’s death was announced, current Premier Fumio Kishida condemned the shooting in the “strongest terms” while Japanese leaders and the world expressed their shock at the violent act in a nation where violence in the political realm is not commonplace and guns are controlled tightly.
“Former prime minister Shinzo Abe was shot in Nara and I have been informed he is in a very grave condition,” PM Kishida was quoted by reporters following getting to Tokyo by helicopter after a campaign route.
“It is a degrading action during a campaign for elections that is at the heart of our democracy. It is inexplicably wrong. I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.”
The shooting took place just before noon in the Western region in Nara The incident occurred in Nara’s western region “one man, believed to be the shooter, has been taken into custody” the government’s spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno had earlier told reporters.
Many media outlets have described 41-year-old Yamagami as an ex-member of the Maritime Self-Defence Force, the nation’s navy.
“A large bang”
The witnesses at the scene expressed their shock when the political scene transformed into chaos.
“He was giving a speech and a man came from behind,” an 18-year-old woman who was at the scene reported to the NHK.
“The first shot was like a toy. He didn’t crash, but there was a huge blast. The second one was more apparent and you could see the smoke and spark,” she added.
“After the second shot, people surrounded him and gave him cardiac massage.”
Abe had blood dripping from his neck, according to witnesses, and pictures show. The man was initially conscious but then lost consciousness. NHK said.
Local officials from the local chapter of President Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party said there were no threats prior to the incident, and also that his speech had been made public.
“Profoundly sad, shocking and shocking”
Abe the longest-serving premier, was in office in 2006 for just one year, and then from 2012 until 2020, after which he had to quit because of the debilitating bowel condition known as ulcerative colitis.
He is a conservative with a hawkish streak who advocated for revising Japan’s constitution to acknowledge the military of Japan and was an important political figure following his departure.
Japan has one of the toughest firearms laws. The number of deaths due to guns in the nation of 125 million residents are often in single figures.
A gun license is a lengthy and difficult procedure and even more so for Japanese citizens, who have to first receive an endorsement from an association that shoots and go through a stringent police check.
Japan has witnessed “nothing like this for well over 50 to 60 years,” Corey Wallace, an assistant professor at Kanagawa University who focuses on Japanese politics said to AFP.
He suggested that the previous similar incident is likely to be the assassination in 1960 of Inejiro Asanuma who was the leader of the Japan Socialist Party, who was murdered by a right-wing teenager.
“But two days before an election, of a (man) who is so prominent … it’s really profoundly sad and shocking.”
He also pointed out that Japanese lawmakers and voters are used to a more personal and intimate way of campaigning.
US State Secretary Antony Blinken voiced alarm over the shooting.
“This is a very, very sad moment,” Blinken reported to reporters at the G20 summit in Bali in Bali, stating that”the United States was “deeply saddened and deeply concerned”.
Thailand’s prime minister Prayut Chan-OCha is “very shocked” at Abe’s shooting, the country’s foreign minister said and described the two as close friends.
Indian Premier Narendra Modi said he was “deeply distressed” by the shooting of Abe and described his former Japanese premier as an “dear friend”.
“Deeply distressed by the attack on my dear friend Abe,” Modi posted on Twitter. “Our prayers and thoughts are with his family, friends and all the people in Japan. “
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern issued a statement, stating that the country’s premier found herself “deeply shocked”.
“He was one of the first leaders I formally met when I became prime minister. He was deeply committed to his role, and also generous and kind. I recall him asking after the recent loss of our pet when I met him, a small gesture but one that speaks to the kind of person he is,” she added.
“My thoughts are with his wife and the people of Japan. Events like this shake us all to the core,” Ardern stated.
Australian Premier Anthony Albanese termed the incident shocking.
“Shocking news from Japan that former PM Shinzo Abe has been shot — our thoughts are with his family and the people of Japan at this time,” the tweet read.
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