Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dies after being shot at a street rally | International
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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 67, has died after being shot several times in the middle of the street while participating in a campaign event in the city of Nara, according to the public broadcaster NHK, citing sources from his political formation, the Party. Liberal Democrat (PLD). The former Japanese chief executive, who ruled between 2012 and September 2020, before leaving power for health reasons, was giving a speech at a rally outside a train station in the former Japanese capital as part of the campaign for upper house elections scheduled for Sunday. Shortly after he began to speak, at around 11:30 local time (4:30 a.m., Spanish peninsular time), at least two shots were heard. Abe fell to the ground with blood on his chest.
The former prime minister was immediately transferred to Kashihara hospital in cardiorespiratory arrest. “He was bleeding profusely and we have not been able to save his life,” said a hospital doctor when confirming the death of the former Japanese president.
The Japanese Police have reported that they have arrested a man, who is being questioned on suspicion of attempted murder. The agents have also proceeded to search his home. The subject has been identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, who, according to the Japanese news agency Kyodo, was a former member of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, the equivalent of the country’s armed forces. According to NHK, the attacker shot Abe twice in the back. His weapon, according to this information, was homemade.
“We condemn this attack in the strongest terms,” declared the current head of government, Fumio Kishida, close to tears, in his appearance before the media. “It is a barbaric and malicious act,” stressed the prime minister, who has insisted that the motive for the attack is still unknown. “It has happened in the middle of an election, the basis of democracy, and that cannot be tolerated.”
Kishida has ordered the rest of the members of his Government, scattered throughout the country in various electoral acts, to return to Tokyo to analyze the events. “We will take all possible measures to prepare for any possible situation,” he assured. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno has described the attack as a “barbaric act” that “cannot be tolerated”.
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Until now, it had been common for political events in Japan to be held in the middle of the street and under low levels of security, given the low levels of violence in a country where the use of weapons is strictly controlled.
Despite having formally retired, Abe, heir to a family of stale political ancestry, still held immense influence in Japanese politics, dominated by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), leading the country during most of the era of the postwar period. After leaving the Government, he was replaced by his spokesman and Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Sugawara, who in turn resigned last year and was replaced by Kishida.
A former protégé of Abe, for Kishida the Senate elections were an opportunity to demonstrate his control of the LDP and emerge from the shadow of his predecessor. The current prime minister, who was in turn on an electoral tour, has canceled his events scheduled for this Friday and has returned to Tokyo.
During his eight-year term in office—his second as prime minister, after a brief one-year term beginning in 2006—Abe tried to boost Japan’s economy, stagnant since the 1990s, with a recipe informally dubbed Abenomics and based on fiscal spending and loose monetary policy.
Considered a hawk In foreign policy, the former prime minister boosted defense spending and in 2014 his government approved a reinterpretation of the post-war pacifist Constitution to allow Japanese troops to fight outside their national territory, for the first time since the end of the war. World War II.
He was one of the great promoters of Tokyo’s candidacy for the 2020 Olympic Games. His dream of presiding over the celebrations was frustrated by the outbreak of the covid pandemic, which forced the sporting event to be postponed for a year.
In a tweet, the US ambassador to Tokyo, Rahm Emanuel, declared himself “saddened and shocked by the shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe”. “Abe-san has been an outstanding leader of Japan and a staunch ally of the United States. The US Government and the American people pray for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, and the Japanese people,” he said.
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