Flat White

The attempted murder of Shinzo Abe

8 July 2022

5:43 PM

8 July 2022

5:43 PM


[ Edit: it has been released by Japanese media that Shinzo Abe has tragically died of his injuries.]

At the time of writing, former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, remains in a critical condition in hospital after being shot twice in the back at a campaign rally.

Shinzo Abe was Japan’s the longest-serving Prime Minister and President of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party until 2020. During his tenure, he was known as a peacemaker and strong conservative who took an unusually hard line on rogue state North Korea.

His friendship with Trump and attempts to restore calm between world superpowers made him a figure of enormous respect within the global political community.

Currently 67, he was forced to retire from his position as Prime Minister due to ill health, but was in the middle of making a political comeback when he was gunned down by a single shooter wielding a handmade shotgun in Nara, western Japan.

As a powerful political factional leader, Shinzo Abe’s endorsement of candidates and presence on the campaign trail was a matter of significance in the coming elections. He was campaigning with Kei Sato at the time of the shooting.

The horrific event was captured on camera, with the crowd surrounding Shinzo Abe immediately after the shooting and providing medical assistance while the gunman was forced to the ground by security and held there until the 41-year-old man was arrested for attempted murder.

Two shots rang out during the speech, with onlookers describing the first shot as ‘sounding like a toy’. It was not until the second shot that Shinzo Abe collapsed to the ground, clutching his chest as blood soaked through his shirt.

It has been reported that his heart stopped and that his condition remains grave.

Although there is speculation that a third party, such as a foreign government, could be behind the attack – no one has claimed responsibility beyond the man arrested at the scene. Identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, he allegedly told police that he was ‘dissatisfied with Abe’ and ‘wanted to kill him’.

Current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has condemned the violence.

‘Everything that can be done is being done to revive him. I’m praying from the depths of my heart that his life will be saved,’ said Kishida, in an emotional press conference.

Political violence, while not unheard of, is rare in Japan.

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