What We Know About the Shinzo Abe Assassination

Shinzo Abe, the previous prime minister of Japan who held the workplace longer than anybody else, was fatally shot on Friday whereas giving a speech for a politician within the metropolis of Nara.

His killing shocked Japan, the place gun violence of any variety is uncommon. Although Mr. Abe, who was 67, stepped down in 2020, he was nonetheless a power in Japanese politics. The police have arrested a suspect.

Right here’s what we all know concerning the case to this point.

A Nara resident, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, was apprehended moments after the capturing. The police say he confessed that he had meant to kill Mr. Abe. Mr. Yamagami held “a grudge” towards a gaggle that he believed Mr. Abe was related to, based on the police, who didn’t establish the group.

Little is publicly identified about Mr. Yamagami, who seems to have spent three years in Japan’s Navy. The police have charged him with homicide.

On Sunday, they mentioned they have been investigating whether or not he had attended an earlier Abe speech, on the day earlier than the killing. Video from that rally, within the metropolis of Okayama, reveals a person who appears like Mr. Yamagami standing behind the previous prime minister.

Mr. Abe, one in every of Japan’s most distinguished figures, was shot at shut vary, in daylight, by a gunman who walked previous safety guards unobstructed. Solely after firing a second shot was the assailant tackled and subdued. Many individuals, in Japan and past, have requested how that might be doable.

Tomoaki Onizuka, the top of the Nara prefectural police, mentioned on Saturday that it was “simple that there have been issues within the safety” supplied for Mr. Abe.

In Japan, the place the crime price is low and weapons are tough to come back by, it has been frequent for politicians to mingle freely with voters. That might now change. As Prime Minister Fumio Kishida campaigned on Saturday, law enforcement officials patrolled rooftops and subjected residents to physique scans.

Japan has a number of the hardest gun legal guidelines on the earth, and deadly shootings are extraordinarily uncommon. There was solely one in every of of final 12 months, excluding accidents or suicides, based on the Nationwide Police Company.

These onerous restrictions on shopping for firearms didn’t cease Mr. Abe’s killer as a result of he used a crude home made gun. The police say they discovered a number of others prefer it after they searched his residence. In addition they discovered boards that appeared to have been used for goal apply.

Mr. Abe resigned as prime minister, citing well being issues, in 2020. Days earlier, he had set a file for the longest uninterrupted run in workplace by any Japanese premier: practically eight years. (He had additionally served a a lot shorter time period in 2006-7.)

After stepping down, he wielded a lot behind-the-scenes affect with the governing Liberal Democratic Occasion, and was generally known as a “shadow shogun.” When he was shot, Mr. Abe was campaigning for one of many celebration’s candidates for the Higher Home of Parliament in elections held Sunday.

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