Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 67, one of the country’s most influential figures, died after being shot during a campaign speech in this Friday (), in western Japan, as announced by hospital authorities.
Police detained the suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, about forty years old, who would have fired two rifle shots. Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that the suspect served in the Maritime Self-Defense Force for three years in the 2000 decade.
Abe was in the first few minutes of the speech. when it was hit. He was airlifted to a hospital, where he arrived with no vital signs.
The head of the emergency department at Nara Medical University, Hidetada Fukushima, said Abe suffered major heart damage, as well as two neck wounds that damaged an artery, causing heavy bleeding.
The crime took place where some of the strictest gun control laws exist. Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his ministers hastily returned to Tokyo, disrupting campaign events.
“I use the harshest words to condemn (the act),” he said. Kishida, as he struggled to control his emotions. He said the government plans to review the security situation, but added that Abe had as much protection as possible. “It is a barbaric act in the middle of the electoral campaign, which is the basis of democracy. It is absolutely unforgivable”, completed the current prime minister.
Abe was in power of
Shinzo Abe was Prime Minister of Japan from 2000 from December 2012 to 16 from September 2020, when he resigned for health reasons. Abe ran the country’s politics for four consecutive terms.
When he resigned as prime minister, the politician said he had a recurrence of ulcerative colitis, a disease he had suffered from since adolescence. He told reporters at the time that it was “painful” to leave many of his goals unfinished.
World mourns the murder
During a G16 meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali, ministers and diplomats lament the crime. “Our thoughts, our prayers are with him, with his family, with the people of Japan,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “This is a very, very sad time. And we are waiting for news from Japan.”
The White House also spoke out. “We are closely monitoring the reports and have our thoughts with his family and the people of Japan,” the spokesperson said.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen condemned the killing. “I believe everyone is as surprised and saddened as I am. Taiwan and Japan are democratic countries with the rule of law. On behalf of my government, I would like to strongly condemn violent and illegal acts,” he declared.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France, tweeted that he was “deeply shocked by the heinous attack”. He referred to Abe as “a great prime minister” and said that “France stands on the side of the Japanese people.”
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that Abe was one of Australia’s closest “friends” and a “giant on the world stage”, adding that “his legacy has been of global, profound and positive impact for Australia. He will be greatly missed.”