What We Know About the Shinzo Abe Assassination

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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 pressure in Japanese politics. The police have arrested a suspect.

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

A Nara resident, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, was apprehended moments after the taking pictures. The police say he confessed that he had meant to kill Mr. Abe. Mr. Yamagami held “a grudge” towards a bunch that he believed Mr. Abe was related to, in response to the police, who didn’t determine the group.

Little is publicly recognized 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 had been investigating whether or not he had attended an earlier Abe speech, in Nara on Friday. Video from that rally exhibits a person who seems to be like Mr. Yamagami standing behind the previous prime minister.

Mr. Abe, one in every of Japan’s most outstanding 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 may very well be potential.

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

In Japan, the place the crime charge is low and weapons are tough to return by, it has been widespread for politicians to mingle freely with voters. That would now change. As Prime Minister Fumio Kishida campaigned on Saturday, cops patrolled rooftops and subjected residents to physique scans.

Japan has a few of the hardest gun legal guidelines on the planet, and deadly shootings are extraordinarily uncommon. There was solely one in every of of final yr, excluding accidents or suicides, in response to 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 do-it-yourself gun. The police say they discovered a number of others prefer it once they searched his residence. Additionally they discovered boards that appeared to have been used for goal follow.

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: almost 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 Celebration, and was generally known as a “shadow shogun.” When he was shot, Mr. Abe was campaigning for one of many social gathering’s candidates for the Higher Home of Parliament in elections held Sunday.

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