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Gunman admits shooting dead former Japanese PM

Police have revealed that a man confessed to assassinating Shinzo Abe, the former Japanese prime Minister.

Two shots were fired from the back at Mr Abe (67), while he was giving a speech in Nara, western Japan, during a rally for campaigning.

After two severe neck injuries that caused an injury to his artery, he died.

This is the first assassination attempt on a former Japanese prime minister or sitting member of the government since the 1930s.


Yamagami Tetsuya (41 years old) was identified in media reports. The gunman seemed calm when answering questions and appeared unmoved when speaking to investigators.

The background of Abe’s assassin is revealed – live updates

Officers have recommended that residents in the area evacuate their homes after explosives were found at the home of an unemployed suspect.

The scene is captured in photos. It appears to be a homemade gun. Police said that it was made from a mixture of metal and wood.

It is not clear if the parts were purchased online or if the 3D printer was used to make the part.

A still image on video seems to show him just moments before the shooting.

He was dressed in a grey T shirt and beige pants, and was wrestled to the ground.

According to him, he worked for three years in Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force.

NHK, the state broadcaster, reported that he said to police that he was angry with Mr Abe and wanted to kill him.

Kyodo News stated that he was not motivated by any grudge against Mr Abe’s political views.

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Shinzo Abe shot at

Significant damage to the heart

After suffering severe heart damage, Mr Abe was unable to breathe and had no vital signs.

During four hours of blood transfusions, Mr Abe hemorhaged, more than 100 units were given.

As Mr Abe collapsed, he held his chest and covered his shirt with blood. NHK showed footage showing security guards running towards Mr Abe.

As he gave a speech to his campaign outside a station, a puff of white smoke was visible. This was just before the elections to Japan’s upper House on Sunday.

Reporters on the scene reported hearing two bangs in unison during Mr Abe’s address.

Image This photo appears to show the suspect as Shinzo Abe arrives for his speech

Fumio Kirishida, the prime minster, stated that the “acts of brutality” were “absolutely unacceptable”. All cabinet members have been asked to return to Tokyo.

One of the most influential world leaders of the 21st and 20th centuries

Dominic Waghorn

International Affairs Editor


Shinzo Abe was Japan’s most prominent, longest-serving and easily recognisable postwar prime minister. Anyone who has been following international affairs in recent years will recognize his big hair and smiley face.

He wanted to change Japan. Japan would move from its post-war reticence to the international stage to a more prominent role. Japan would also increase its economic size. He had to overcome opposition to his plans to increase defense spending and change the constitution, but he felt it was worth it.

Alexander Downer, the Policy Exchange Chairman and former Australian foreign minister, saw Shinzo Abe close up on the international stage. Sky News reported that he was one the most influential world leaders of the 21st and 20th centuries.

“He was as significant to Japan and in changing Japan’s standing in the international community as Margaret Thatcher was for the UK, or perhaps Ronald Reagan for the United States.”

Some believe he was too harshly accused of whitewashing Japan’s wartime and Imperialist past. But supporters claim he was right in moving the country to recognize the necessity to prepare ahead for the threat posed to the country by an increasingly China, meddlesome China, and nuclear-armed North Korea.

Although he was unable to serve as prime minister due to ill health, he remained a strong figure advocating for a stronger and more bolder Japan. His charismatic personality and conviction will be missed by allies and at home.

Mr Kishida stated that a free and fair election must be protected at all costs and that campaigning will continue Saturday.

Mr Kishida stated that he has great respect for the legacy of Mr Abe.

‘Absolutely unacceptable, regardless of the reasons’

Japan has very strict gun regulations, so it is rare for political violence to occur there.

Police say that there were only 10 cases of gun-related crimes in a country of 125 million, which resulted in four deaths and four injuries.

Eight of the cases were gang-related.

Hirokazu Matsuno, chief cabinet secretary, stated that “a barbaric act such as this is absolutely unacceptable, regardless of the reasons, and we strongly condemn it.”

Image Shinzo abe, pictured in Tokyo, December 2020

Boris Johnson, the former prime minister, stated that Mr Abe’s passing was “incredibly sad news.”

Ursula von der Leyen was the president of European Commission. She said that Mr Abe was “wonderful”, a great democrat, and champion of multilateral world order.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy was the president of Ukraine and said that the “heinous act” of violence had no excuse.

Two terms were served by Abe as Japan’s prime minister. He was also Japan’s longest-serving premier. Abe then resigned in 2020 after a chronic health issue resurfaced.

Since he was a teenager, he has suffered from ulcerative collitis.

He is still a prominent presence in the Liberal Democratic Party and controls one of its major factions.


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