The stunning assassination of Shinzo Abe is a tragedy that may have repercussions far past this weekend’s voting.
t’s onerous to consider a extra surprising place for this to occur: Japan prides itself on being a protected society.
The impression of sarin gasoline assaults on the Tokyo subway by the Aum Shinrikyo cult, practically 30 years on, nonetheless reverberates exactly as a result of such incidents are so uncommon – shootings specifically.
The unsolved 2013 killing of Takayuki Ohigashi, the top of a restaurant chain shot exterior his firm headquarters, nonetheless lingers in reminiscence. Political assassinations are much more extraordinary.
Random assaults of violence do happen. Latest years have seen a rise in such occasions, such because the mass homicide of 26 in Osaka final December, the place the suspect set a psychological well being clinic on hearth, killing himself within the course of; or the knife assaults on Tokyo’s subways final Halloween, which mercifully resulted in no fatalities.
Whereas some weapons can be found in Japan for the likes of hunters, any buy requires stringent checks. Images, apparently from the scene, present an uncommon, nearly handmade-looking firearm.
Final 12 months, a person killed himself in Ibaraki with a gun believed to have been made with a 3D printer. However due to Japan’s security file, safety at political rallies is weak.
It’s not in any respect uncommon to see former prime ministers or different big-wigs campaigning at a road nook and not using a seen safety element. The assassination of Mr Abe may have a powerful impact on the nation.
Whereas outsiders would possibly consider him as a former politician, he maintained immense affect. He led the most important faction within the Liberal Democratic Occasion, and at 67, was nonetheless in his prime.
On the time of writing, we all know little of the suspect and nothing of his motivations. Mr Abe has attracted violent protest previously, together with a 2014 self-immolation in opposition to safety laws he spearheaded.
This type of assault on a nationwide determine of his stature is completely with out precedent within the nation’s trendy historical past. One factor appears sure: July 8 is a day that may scar Japan perpetually.