As he was giving a speech in Nara City, which is not far from Kyoto, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated. He was Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister, who still wielded great power in political circles. He stepped down 2 years ago because of health reasons, but remained active in politics.
Shinzo Abe was giving a speech from a small stage outdoors when suddenly a loud bang was heard and a cloud of white smoke erupted at the spot. Then another blast. Police immediately tackled the suspect. Mr Abe was shot at close range from behind and transported to the hospital, but never regained his vital signs in spite of efforts to revive him.
Dr. Hidetada Fukushima, a professor of emergency medicine at the hospital, said Abe had two gunshot wounds and no vital signs when he arrived less than an hour after the shooting. Life-saving measures including blood transfusions were unsuccessful, he said, and Abe was pronounced dead at 4:03 a.m. ET.
The suspect was identified as 41 year old Tetsuya Yamagishi, who was arrested at the scene. NHK, a Japanese public media, stated that Yamagishi served in the Japanese Maritime Defense force for 3 years until 2005. The Japanese Defense Forces were expanded and strengthened by Shinzo Abe in an effort to protect his nation in the midst of threats from China and North Korea. The suspect confessed to the murder, saying that he had a grudge against the former Japanese Prime Minister and wanted to kill him. Upon searching the suspect’s residence, police found other homemade weapons (NBC).
Japan is investigating the assassination, but the motive for Yamagishi’s animus toward Abe is at present unknown.
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