Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead during an election campaign on Friday. State broadcaster NHK said a man fired what appeared to be a homemade weapon.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida “strongly” vilified the shooting in the western city of Nara.
The Japanese and world leaders unleashed their shock at the extremely rare attack.
Condemned by Japanese political parties.
Struggling to control his emotions, Kishida said the attack on Abe, 67, who is seriously ill, in Sunday’s upper house election campaign was an unacceptable attack on the foundations of Japan’s democracy.
“Everything that can be done will get him back to life. I pray from the bottom of my heart that his life is spared,” Kishida told reporters. He said he was unaware of any motive for the “absolutely inexcusable” attack.
A fir Authorities have previously said Abe appeared to be there in cardiac arrest when he was airlifted to the hospital.
A 41-year-old man doubted of carrying out the shooting has been arrested, police said. The suspect, identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, told police by NHK that he was unhappy with Abe and wanted to kill him.
Abe was delivering a campaign speech outside the train station when two shots were fired at around 11:30 a.m. Meter. (02:30 GMT). Security was then seen attacking a man wearing a grey T-shirt and beige pants.
“It was accompanied by a loud noise, followed by heavy smoke,” Makoto Ichikawa, a businessman at the scene, told Reuters, adding that the weapon was the size of a TV camera.
“When the first shot was fired, no one knew what happened, but after the second shot, he was attacked by SWAT.”
Infrequent political attack
Kyodo posted a photo of Abe lying face down on a railing in the street, his white shirt covered in blood. People crowded around him, and one of them gave him a heart massage.
Media reports said Abe suffered injuries to his chest and neck. An official from Abe’s ruling party said he was receiving a blood transfusion, NHK said.
Political violence rarely occurs in Japan, which has strict gun laws.
In 2007, the mayor of Nagasaki was assassinated by gangsters. In 1960, the leader of the Socialist Party of Japan was stabbed with a short katana while a young right-winger was giving a speech.
Senior Japanese politicians are accompanied by armed guards, but they are often in close proximity to the public, especially during political campaigns, where they deliver roadside speeches and shake hands with passersby.
what the police said, suspect was a Nara resident. According to the media, he served in the Japanese army for three years until 2005.
Abe, who was re-elected as prime minister for two terms, resigned in 2020 due to physical discomfort. But he still dominates against the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) and controls one of its main factions.
Analysts say Abe’s protégé Kishida hopes to use the election to step out of Abe’s shadow and secure his place as prime minister. After Abe was fired, Kishida suspended his campaign.
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken expressed deep concern over Abe’s condition.
“Our thoughts and blessings are with him, his family, and the Japanese people,” Blinken said on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Bali, Indonesia. “This is a very disturbing time. We are waiting for news from Japan.
The US is Japan’s most important ally.
The yen rose and Japan’s Nikkei fell on news of the shooting, in part due to an instinctive flight to safety.
Abe is known for his “Abenomics” policies of aggressive monetary easing and fiscal spending.
He also increased defense spending after years of decline and expanded military capabilities to project power overseas.
At a historic turning point in 2014, his administration reinterpreted the postwar anti-war constitution, allowing the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II.
The following year, a law ended the prohibition of exercise of rights to collective self-defense or defending friendly nations under attack.
However, Abe has failed to revise the long-term goal of amending the US-drafted constitution by including the Japanese military’s well-known Self-Defense Forces into pacifist Article 9.
Abe first took office in 2006, becoming Japan’s youngest prime minister since World War II. Abe has stopped citing health concerns after a year of political scandals, voter anger over failed allowance records and a failed election for the ruling party.