Shinzo Abe, Former Prime Minister of Japan, Assassinated
67-year-old former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe died on Friday, July 8th, after he was shot twice while giving a speech during a political campaign in the city of Nara.
According to reports, Abe suffered serious injuries to his neck. He was rushed to Nara Medical University Hospital by helicopter where he underwent surgery and life-saving measures such as blood transfusions.
However four hours of surgery, he succumbed to his injuries. Officials have released that Abe experienced damage to a major artery as a result of the bullets, citing excessive loss of blood before and during surgery.
Police reports state that Abe was shot from behind by 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami. Yamagami is said to be a former member of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force, the equivalent of a navy.
The alleged perpetrator of the assassination was present at the campaign event where Abe was giving his speech. Yamagami is seen in photographs, standing behind the former prime minister with a bag strapped across his body.
Yamagami approached him and shot at him twice from behind. According to reports and witnesses, Yamagami killed Abe with what looked like a crude homemade weapon.
The gun had two steel pipes that were covered in black tape. Yamagami was tackled by security after shooting Abe. Yamagami allegedly said the reason he assassinated Abe was his dissatisfaction with him, saying he did not like the group that Abe represented and was a part of.
The police in Nara have admitted that Abe’s security had flaws and he was not well guarded. “It is undeniable that there were problems in the security,” said Nara police chief Tomoaki Onizuka.
Still on Shinzo Abe’s Assasination
Abe was known for being a popular but controversial politician. He is credited with saving Japan’s economy and notably stepping up as prime minister during the period after the earthquake and tsunami that took place in Tohoku in 2011.
Abe was born into a political dynasty as his father was former foreign minister Shintaro Abe and his grandfather was former prime minister Nobusuke Kishi.
Abe was driven by the desire to continue his family’s legacy of building a great, strong, and internationally renowned Japan. Abe is survived by his wife, Akie, whom he married in 1987.
Japan was shocked by the shooting of Abe because of his status as well as the low levels of gun violence in the country.
The country has very strict gun laws that have been in place for decades. In order for an individual to own and use a gun, they have to pass several tests.
These include mental health, drug, and criminal record checks. An applicant must also undergo firearm and shooting range training amongst other tests.
Abe was a prominent person in Japanese society and politics, with some saying he was the most recognizable person in Japanese politics in the last thirty years.
Abe first became a member of parliament in 1993. He served as prime minister twice, firstly serving for a year in 2006 as the youngest post-war leader of Japan.
His second tenure as leader of Japan, from 2012 to 2020, made him the country’s longest-serving prime minister.