Shinzo Abe, former Japanese leader, dies after being shot

Shinzo Abe, former Japanese leader, dies after being shot
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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe He died Friday after being shot while giving a campaign speech, authorities said. She was 67 years old.

The panorama: Abe, who most recently held the post from December 2012 to September 2020, was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. Resigned in 2020 for health reasons but he remained influential in politics.

What happened: Abe was shot while giving a campaign speech in the city of Nara ahead of Sunday’s election for the upper house of parliament, NHK reported.

  • He was rushed to the hospital but showed no vital signs, according to NHK. She received two gunshot wounds and died shortly after 5 pm local time, health officials said at a news conference.
  • Police arrested the suspected shooter, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, according to NHK. The former Japanese Navy member was reportedly unhappy with Abe and wanted to kill him as a result, but not because of political differences.
  • The gun found at the scene was apparently handmade. Police said Saturday that the bullet entered Abe’s left arm and damaged the arteries below his collarbone, causing fatal bleeding. access point reports.
  • Shootings are extremely rare in Japan, a country with some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the world. There were 10 shootings and one gun-related death in Japan last year, the washington post stories.
  • Abe’s widow, Akie Abe, will travel with his body to Tokyo, where his family is. his office told CNN. Funeral arrangements will be made thereafter.
  • Abe’s body was returned to his home in Tokyo on Saturday, according to AP.

What they are saying: “He was working for peace and stability in Japan and the world,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said after confirming Abe’s death.

  • “He was a dear friend who loved this country,” Kishida added. “To lose such a figure in this way is absolutely devastating.”
  • Earlier Friday, Kishda called the attack on Abe “barbaric and malicious and cannot be tolerated.”
  • “This is not a forgivable act,” Kishida said, adding that authorities “will take appropriate steps to handle the situation.”

World leaders expressed surprise and outrage at the murder.

  • “This is shocking. It is deeply disturbing… It is also a great personal loss for so many people,” US Secretary of State Tony Blinken said. told reporters in Indonesia, where he is attending a meeting of G20 foreign ministers.
  • “In the United States, Prime Minister Abe was an extraordinary partner. And someone who was clearly a great leader for Japan,” Blinken added.
  • “Mr Abe was one of the first world leaders I met when I became prime minister. He was always focused, thoughtful and generous,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. said in a statement.

  • “This act of violence against Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister is unfathomable, and we stand with Japan in its condemnation of what has happened today.”
  • President Biden said in a statement that he was “stunned, outraged and deeply saddened“For Abe’s death. This is a tragedy for Japan and for everyone who knew him.”

Background: Abe rose to prominence in national politics in the early 2000s, according to the New York Times.

  • He first became prime minister in 2006, but abruptly resigned a year later after several political scandals.
  • Abe returned for a second time as prime minister in 2012, promising to revive the economy and amend the country’s dovish constitution, a goal he failed to achieve due to low public support.
  • The end of his term saw strong ties with the US, particularly former President Trump.
  • When he announced that he would step down in 2020, citing ongoing health problems With ulcerative colitis, his popularity had waned over his handling of the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and a series of political scandals, according to the Times.
  • His more than seven years in office offered him a rare firm hand at the top of Japanese politics. The country was known for its frequent change of prime minister before he took office in 2012.

Go deeper: World leaders express shock over murder of Japan’s Shinzo Abe

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with new details.

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