Breaking News | Japan’s Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Assassinated during a Campaign Speech


Japan’s Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Assassinated during a Campaign Speech

  • Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving prime minister of Japan has died after being shot by an assailant.

  • The assailant of Prime Minister Abe has been arrested and identified.

  • World leaders and politicians reacts to the killing of Shinzo Abe.

The former Prime Minister was shot twice while delivering a campaign speech near a railway station in the western city of Nara on Friday, July 8, 2022. He was rushed to the hospital thereafter where he reportedly died.

Shinzo Abe, 67, first held office as the prime minister of Japan for just a year in 2006. In 2012, he won the seat of the prime minister again under Japan's Liberal Democratic Party and held the office until 2020. He, therefore, served as the prime minister for about 9 years, making him the longest-serving prime minister in the country.

According to the New York Times Report, “Abe is one of the minds that helped pulled Japan out of the economic malaise, but fell short of his most cherished goal: making Japan a normalized military power.”

His military moves left Japan after several years of pacifism and military neutrality after WWII. Supporters view Mr. Abe as one of the most important post-war Japanese statesmen after Nakasone and Koizumi.

Video footage showing Mr. Abe's Assassination

Hirokazu Matsuno, the chief cabinet secretary while addressing reporters about Abe’s death states, “Former prime minister Abe was shot at 11:30 am”. NHK footage shows a horrifying moment when the prime minister was delivering a speech on a stage before the loud blast was heard with visible smoke around the exact location Mr. Abe was standing.

World leaders and politicians have reacted and voiced their concerns and sadness over the death of Prime Minister ShinzoAbe. The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken told reporters at G20 Meeting in Bali, “This is a very sad moment, the US is deeply saddened and deeply concerned”.

The assailant of Prime Minister Abe has been arrested by the police and he is identified by the local media as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami. According to the Japanese police report, Yamagami, Mr. Abe’s assassin is a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, which is Japan’s navy.

The police, however, have discovered several explosives at the assailant home.

Prime minister Shinzo Abe's assailant arrested

Photo: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Assailant arrested

Japan is one of the strictest countries when it comes to gun ownership laws and getting gun licenses. The country has one of the lowest gun violence incidents in the world.

Speaking to AFP, Corey Wallace, an assistant professor of Kanagawa University who is a Japanese political expert said “…nothing like this for well over 50 to 60 years”. He also added that the last incident of assassination in Japan took place in 1960 when the Japanese Socialist Party leader, Inejiro Asanuma was assassinated.

“It is sad and shocking that two days before an election, a prominent man is shot dead”, assistant professor Corey lamented.

Japanese politicians are fun of having close contact with the public because of the level of security trust in the country, however, according to assistant professor Corey, “This could change”.

Japan Prime Minister rushed to the hospital after being shot

There is yet no report about the intention of the assailant. Japan is preparing for its election which is scheduled to hold on July 10, 2022. This incident takes place two days to the election.

Many believe the assassination of the prime minister is politically motivated but as at the time of reporting this, it is not yet clear if that is the case.

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