Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Dies After Being Shot At A Campaign Address

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died after he was shot while delivering a campaign speech ahead of the parliamentary election on a street in the western city of Nara Friday morning, public broadcaster NHK reported. He was 67.

Abe was shot from behind at around 11:30 a.m. local time when he was speaking in front of Kintetsu Railway’s Yamato-Saidaiji Station, reports quoting police said.

Abe was immediately admitted in Nara Medical University hospital, where he was declared dead at 5:03 p.m local time.

He died from excessive bleeding after the bullet pierced into his heart, doctors said in a news conference. A bullet also hit his neck.

Police have arrested a 41-year-old man following the attack on suspicion of attempted murder. A homemade gun was retrieved from him, according to the police.

The longest-serving Prime Minister in Japan’s history, Abe was also a popular leader.

During his second term, Abe pursued economic policies known as “Abenomics” to stimulate the Japanese economy. Abe led Japan closer to the United States.

He resigned as Prime Minister in 2020, citing health reasons.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida strongly condemned the murder of the former leader. Such a barbaric act should never be tolerated, he said after returning to capital Tokyo cutting short his campaigning in Yamagata Prefecture.

Shooting incidents are rare in Japan, a country that has strict gun laws, and one of the world’s lowest rates of gun crime.

Polling to elect 124 lawmakers of the 245 member House of Councilors, the Diet’s upper chamber, is scheduled to be held on Sunday.

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