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The Assassination Of Shinzo Abe

Shinzo Abe, Japan's former Prime Minister passed away at the hospital after being assassinated during a political campaign. This event took place on Friday on a street in western Japan by a shooter. The shooter open fired from the ex-Prime minister from behind while Abe was delivering a speech for the campaign. This action took the world by surprise as Japan has quite strict laws on gun control.

Image Via Reuters Photo

67-year-old Shinzo Abe was one of Japan's longest serving leader. He first took the office in 2006. He then came to power again in 2012 and continued till 2020 and resigned due to health reasons. During his time in office, he played a significant role in shaping the relationship between India and Japan. He was the vital person behind the "Quad" relationship between the United States, Australia, India, and Japan. He was also responsible for "Abenomics" which was a set new economic policies for Japan which strengthened the economy of the land of the rising sun. These were some of his accomplishments, to name a few. While giving his campaign speech outside a train station two shots rang out which claimed his life.

The question of why such a significant figure was killed makes everybody curious. The police have since launched a murder investigation for the former leader's death. Although the shooter was caught on the scene of the murder, there is little information found about the shooter and his motive behind this. The shooter was identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old. Upon further questioning by the Nara Nishi police, it was said that the suspect, who is unemployed, held hatred toward a certain group that he thought Abe was linked to. The group remains unnamed.

The suspect Yamagami used a homemade gun which was made of two cylindrical metal barrels wrapped in black tape. According to the police, the weapon used was 40 centimeters (about 16 inches) long and


20 centimeters (about 7.87 in) wide. Upon checking Yamagami's residence, it was found that he had several similar homemade pistols. The police found that the suspect had bought bullets for his gun online and used his strongest creation to take the leader out.


Though his plan worked, Yamagami's initial plan was to kill Abe with explosives and planned to Okayama, which is about three hours' drive from Nara. Yamagami said "I was thinking about killing the former prime minister there (Okayama), but I saw that there were admission procedures at the entrance and I felt it would be difficult to get in".

Abe was pronounced dead around five and a half hours after the shooting in the city of Nara. Abe suffered two bullet wounds to his neck during the attack. He also suffered damage to his heart. What shook the nation was that there was an open fire in a nation that has tight security laws.


Japan's current Prime minister Fumio Kishida and his Cabinet ministers returned to Tokyo from campaign events elsewhere after the shooting to pay respects to the former leader. Kishida said “I use the harshest words to condemn (the act),” while unable to control his emotions. However, the opposition party used this shooting to criticize the democracy of Japan. Kenta Izumi, head of the top opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, called it “an act of terrorism” and said it “tried to quash the freedom of speech ... causing a situation where (Abe’s) speech can never be heard again.”.


U.S. President Joe Biden, said "I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and killed while campaigning,". The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi displayed his condolences to his dear friend by tweeting “I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe. He was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place… Abe made an immense contribution to elevating India-Japan relations to the level of a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. Today, whole India mourns with Japan and we stand in solidarity with our Japanese brothers and sisters in this difficult moment,”. Followed by holding a day's mourning in the nation.


References:

1. Japan’s ex-leader Shinzo Abe assassinated during a speech. (2022, July 9). AP NEWS. https://apnews.com/22ec2248d92304deb9cc46b2142402d2

2. Murphy, M. T. Y. B. (2022, July 8). Shinzo Abe: Japan ex-leader assassinated while giving speech. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-62089486

3. Regan, H. E. J. A. M. M. (2022, July 10). Tetsuya Yamagami: What we know about the man suspected of shooting Shinzo Abe. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2022/07/09/asia/shinzo-abe-tetsuya-yamagami-explainer-intl-hnk/index.html

4. Roy, S. (2022, July 9). Shinzo Abe shaped India-Japan ties, was key person behind Quad. The Indian Express. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/shaped-india-japan-ties-key-person-behind-quad-8018189/

5. Sugiyama, S., & Kim, C. (2022, July 9). Shinzo Abe’s assassin used a handmade firearm. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-ex-prime-minister-abe-may-have-been-shot-taken-hospital-nhk-2022-07-08/






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