Shinzo Abe: Japan ex Prime Minister shot

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Local Japanese media have identified the attacker as 42-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami

Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, resigned from office in 2020 amid a flare-up chronic health condition.

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That’s all we know so far.

What happened to Shinzo Abe?

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Abe was reportedly shot dead minutes after he began speaking outside a train station in western Nara.

He was giving a speech when people heard gunshots. According to local media reports, Abe was shot in the left side of the chest and also in the neck.

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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a campaign speech for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (Photo by YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP via Getty Images)

He was clutching his chest as he collapsed, his shirt smeared with blood, but was able to speak before falling unconscious.

Speak with ReutersHis businessman Makoto Ichikawa, who was at the scene, said: “There was a loud band and then smoke.

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“On the first show nobody knew what was going on, but after the second shot he was attacked by special police.”

After the attack, Abe was flown to the hospital, but local fire official Makoto Morimoto said the 67-year-old was not breathing and his heart had stopped when he was flown to the hospital.

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Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference announcing his retirement due to ill health. (Photo by Franck Robichon – Pool/Getty Images)

The attack came as a shock in a country that is one of the safest in the world and has some of the strictest gun control laws.

The popular former leader is still influential in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and heads its largest faction, Seiwakai.

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Elections to the Japanese upper house, the less powerful chamber of the Japanese parliament, will take place on Sunday.

The ruling Liberal Democrat party, formerly led by Abe, has called for a halt to campaigning.

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What did Fumio Kishida say?

Current Japanese leader Fumio Kishida told reporters that Abe is in a “serious condition” after he was shot at the campaign rally.

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Kishida, who belongs to the same political party as Mr Abe, was returning from a campaign trip to Tokyo after the shooting.

The prime minister told reporters Abe was receiving the best medical treatment.

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Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reacts as he holds a news conference at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo July 8, 2022 after learning of the attack on former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Photo by STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images).

“I pray from the bottom of my heart for the survival of former Prime Minister Abe,” he said.

Kishida called the attack “insidious and barbaric” and said it was “absolutely unforgivable” that the crime occurred during the election campaign – the foundation of democracy.

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Japan’s top cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters, “A barbaric act like this is absolutely unforgivable for any reason, and we condemn it in the strongest terms.”

Has a suspect been arrested?

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According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, police have arrested a man suspected of being involved in the shooting of Abe.

Security officers were seen attacking a man in a gray T-shirt and beige trousers after the two shots were fired.

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His name is Tetsuya Yamagami, a 42-year-old man from Nara. Fuji TV reported that he was a member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, which he reportedly left in 2005.

This aerial view from a helicopter chartered by Jiji Press shows police (C) working at the scene of the Kintetsu Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Nara, where former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead on July 8, 2022 (Photo by STR/JIJI PRESS / AFP via Getty Images)

NHK reported that the suspect told officers he was unhappy with Abe and intended to kill him, but according to Kyodo News, he was not motivated by a grudge against Abe’s political beliefs.

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Media reports have quoted police officers as saying that the weapon used to attack Abe appeared to be homemade.

How did world leaders react to the shooting?

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Around the world, leaders and politicians have condemned the attack, and many offer their condolences to Abe and the people of Japan.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Deeply disturbed by the attack on my dear friend Abe Shinzo. Our thoughts are that our prayers are with him, his family and the people of Japan.”

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was “deeply shocked” by the news.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) and then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) hold shirts with their names on them after a joint news conference in Tokyo September 19, 2019 (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi – Pool/Getty Images)

She said: “He was one of the first leaders I met officially when I became Prime Minister. Deeply committed to his role, he was also generous and kind.

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“I remember when I met him he was asking about the recent loss of our pet, a small gesture but one that speaks to the kind of person he is.

“My thoughts are with his wife and the people of Japan. Events like this shake us all to the core.”

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Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, tweeted: “Dear @AbeShinzo stay strong! Our thoughts and prayers are with your family and the people of Japan.”

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas also wrote: “I am shocked and saddened to hear of the shooting of Abe Shinzo. Such violence is also an attack on the very idea of ​​democracy. Our thoughts are with you, your loved ones and everyone in @japan.”

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