Shinzo Abe, a former Japanese prime minister, was fatally shot on Friday during a campaign rally in a country where gun violence is practically nonexistent.
Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, Abe 67, was still a powerful influence in the political arena even after he stepped down from the post, and he was campaigning ahead of Sunday’s elections. Around 11:30 a.m. local time, he was about to begin a speech in Nara, a western city near Kyoto (10:30 p.m. Thursday ET).
Who Is Shinzo Abe?
At least one individual has been detained in connection with the incident. A cardiac and pulmonary arrest sent Abe to the Nara Medical University Hospital emergency room for treatment. Shortly after 5 a.m. Eastern Time (ET), the hospital announced his death.
Dr. Hidetada Fukushima, an emergency medicine professor at the hospital, stated that when Abe arrived less than an hour after the incident, he had two gunshot wounds and no vital signs. He claimed all attempts to save Abe’s life, including blood transfusions, had failed, and he was pronounced dead at 4:03 a.m. Eastern Time (ET).
At a press conference in Tokyo earlier today, the country’s PM Fumio Kishida claimed that the incident was “despicable and savage” because it occurred during an election, which is “the fundamental building block of democracy.”
Press Conference After Returning.
It’s something I oppose with all of my might,” he said at a hurriedly convened press conference after returning from campaigning up north. Kishida added that no decisions had been taken on the impact of the incident on the upper house of Parliament’s upcoming elections.
However, he did not run for re-election as a candidate in 2020, instead campaigned for other members of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Since his resignation, Abe has remained politically active by leading the largest group of his party, the Liberal Democratic Party.
Gun violence is extremely unusual in Japan, so the incidence was shocking. Shotguns and air rifles can only be obtained and kept by those who have passed stringent tests, training, and background checks. He was standing next to Abe when he was shot, an LDP member of the upper house from Nara, Iwao Horii.
The Center-Left Constitutional Democrats.
“We heard two loud sounds while he was talking and he fell quickly after that,” Horii said at a press briefing. The emergency medics tried to resuscitate Abe, but he was unresponsive. There can be no forgiveness for such an act, he argued, because it undermines the very basis of democracy.
Opposition party leader Kenta Izumi called the shooting “an unacceptable act of cruelty” by the center-left Constitutional Democrats. Leaders from all across the world expressed their amazement and well wishes for Abe on Friday.
The U.S. ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, expressed his astonishment and sadness over the shooting. On Friday, Emanuel said in a statement that Abe “has been an extraordinary leader of Japan and an unshakable ally of the United States.”
Prior to The Announcement of His Death.
Abe’s shooting shocked the White House, too. Prior to the announcement of his death, a spokeswoman remarked, “We are closely monitoring the stories and keeping our thoughts with his family and the people of Japan.” Other Asian leaders expressed the same level of skepticism.
My heart goes out to Abe Shinzo‘s family, friends, and colleagues.” His family and the Japanese people are in our thoughts and prayers,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated on Twitter. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described him as “very committed to his work, as well as kind and courteous” during a meeting in Sydney, Australia.
‘My heart goes out to his wife and the people of Japan. Our very cores are rattled when things like these happen.” Aside from being accused of mismanaging Japan’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, Abe’s party had been dogged by controversies during his time in office.
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Abe Resigned Two Years Ago.
After Donald Trump was elected president-elect in November 2016, Abe was the first foreign leader to meet with him. The former president praised Abe as a “really excellent man and leader” in a Truth Social post late Thursday.
And, more significantly for the country, he was someone I could always count on. Abe was a member of Japan’s political elite, and his “Abenomics” programs were a major focus of his time as prime minister.
When Abe resigned two years ago, his ulcerative colitis, a chronic digestive ailment, worsened. After serving as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister for over eight years, he announced his resignation. He served as prime minister from 2006 to 2007 as a member of the Liberal Party.