The assassination Friday of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has shocked people in Japan and leaders around the world.
Abe, 67, was giving a campaign speech on a street corner in the city of Nara, in western Japan, when he was shot by a 41-year-old man. He was campaigning on behalf of a parliament candidate standing for reelection. Security officials at the scene tackled the gunman and the suspect is now in police custody, according to an BBC report.
The suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, whom police claim shot the former prime minister allegedly placed two shots to his neck during the attack, the report added. Abe also suffered heart damage, doctors said. The report noted he was conscious and responsive in the minutes after the attack, but his condition deteriorated.
He reportedly lost a tremendous amount of blood and, despite receiving more than 100 units of blood through transfusions over four hours, he was pronounced dead at 5:03 p.m. local time.
The suspected shooter reportedly told officers he held a grudge against a specific group he believed Abe was connected to, according to the report.
“It is barbaric and malicious and it cannot be tolerated,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, condemning the assassination he called “an act of brutality that happened during the elections.”
President Joe Biden, as well as former presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama reacted to the news of the esteemed Japanese politician’s assassination.
“This is a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him,” remarked President Biden. “I had the privilege to work closely with Prime Minister Abe, the longest serving Japanese Prime Minister. His vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure.”
“Above all, he cared deeply about the Japanese people and dedicated his life to their service.”
Trump called the news “devastating,” adding it was “a tremendous blow to the wonderful people of Japan, who loved and admired him so much.”
“I am shocked and saddened by the assassination of my friend and longtime partner Shinzo Abe in Japan,” Obama said in a statement that ABC News excerpted to a Twitter post. “Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan who are very much in our thoughts at this painful moment.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a day of mourning to remember Abe.
“Mr. Abe made an immense contribution to elevating India-Japan relations to the level of a special strategic and global partnership,” Modi said. “Today, whole India mourns with Japan and we stand in solidarity with our Japanese brothers and sisters in this difficult moment.”
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called the assassination an “intolerable criminal act.”
“This unexpected incident should not be linked with China-Japan relations,” Chinese spokesman Zhao Lijian said, adding that the country was “shocked.”
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