Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Assassinated - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Assassinated
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks in 2017. (Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis)

Shinzo Abe, who served as Japan’s prime minister from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020, was assassinated on Friday by a gunman. Abe was giving a speech in support of a political candidate in the city of Nara when two shots rang out behind him and he collapsed at about 11:30 a.m. JST. Abe received gunshot wounds to his neck and chest from what appeared to be a homemade shotgun. According to media reports, Abe was conscious immediately after being shot, but by the time he arrived at Nara Medical University Hospital, he was in a state of cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at just after 5 p.m. JST, with the official cause being blood loss.

A 41-year-old man, Tetsuya Yamagami, was arrested in relation to the shooting. Yamagami is a former member of the Japanese navy, and a police search of his home revealed more homemade weapons. According to the BBC, Yamagami admitted to police that he shot Abe. He “told officers he had a grudge against a specific group he believed Abe was connected to, police said, adding that they were investigating why the former PM was targeted out of other people related to the group,” BBC reported. The exact identity and nature of this group has not yet been released.

The attack received condemnation both internally and internationally. Abe’s successor as prime minister, Fumio Kishida, said that the murder was an “unforgivable act,” and vowed to continue campaigning in the Japanese elections occurring in two days. President Joe Biden put out a statement saying he was “stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened” by Abe’s death. Former presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama also put out statements.

Abe was a member of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, which is the country’s main conservative party. In office, he forged strong ties with the U.S. and had a strong relationship with Trump in particular. In order to stand against threats from China and North Korea, Abe wished to amend Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which stipulates that Japan is forbidden from having an offensively capable army and is only allowed to have a defensive force. In 2014, Abe’s government approved an expansion of the article that would allow the army to defend Japan’s allies as well as Japan, a move that was supported by the U.S. but controversial internally and opposed by China. 

Upon the news of Abe’s death, many Chinese internet users celebrated the event and praised the shooter. 

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