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Former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe assassinated during a speech – Reporter Online

Mari Yamaguchi, Chisato Tanaka, FOSTER KLUG

Tokyo (AP) — Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated on the streets of western Japan on Friday by a gunner who fired from behind during a campaign speech — an attack that surprised the country with some of the strictest gun control laws. anywhere.

67-year-old Abe, who was the longest-serving leader in Japan when he resigned in 2020, stopped bleeding and was airlifted to a hospital near Nara, despite his lack of breathing and heart arrest. He was later sentenced to death after receiving a large blood transfusion, officials said.

A hearse carrying the body of Prime Minister Abe was discharged early Saturday morning and returned to his home in Tokyo. Abe’s wife Akie bowed her head as her car passed in front of a crowd of journalists.

Hidetada Fukushima, director of the Nara Medical University Emergency Department, said Prime Minister Abe suffered major heart damage, as well as two neck wounds that damaged the arteries. Fukushima said he never regained his vital signs.

Police at the shooting site arrested former Navy Tetsuya Yamagami (41) on murder charges. According to police, he apparently used a homemade gun (about 15 inches (40 cm) long) and confiscated a similar weapon and his computer when he attacked a nearby one-room apartment.

According to police, Yamagami calmly answered questions, admitted that he had attacked Prime Minister Abe, and killed him because he believed in rumors about a former leader’s relationship with a specific organization not identified by police. He told the investigator that he had planned to do so.

A dramatic video from NHK broadcaster showed that Prime Minister Abe was standing outside the station and giving a speech prior to Sunday’s parliamentary elections. He raised his fist to score a point, two gunshots rang, he fell down with his chest in his arms, and his shirt was smeared with blood as the guards ran towards him. After that, the guards jumped on the shooter lying down on the pavement. A double weapon was seen nearby.

After the shooting, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his ministers hurried back to Tokyo from a campaign event called “sneaky and barbaric.” He promised that the elections to elect the weaker members of the House of Councilors in Japan would be on schedule.

“I use the toughest words to blame (act),” Kishida said struggling to control his emotions. The government said it would review the security situation, but added that Prime Minister Abe had the best protection.

Although Prime Minister Abe was absent, he had a great influence on the Liberal Democratic Party in power and led the largest faction, the Seiwakai, but his ultra-nationalist view became a divisive figure for many. rice field.

Opposition leaders have accused the attack as a challenge to Japan’s democracy. Kenta Izumi, the leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party’s highest opposition, called this a “terrorist act” and said, “I tried to crush freedom of speech … in fact, it caused a situation where Prime Minister Abe’s speech was never heard again.” rice field.

In Tokyo, people stopped buying additional editions of newspapers and watching TV coverage of shootings. Flowers were displayed at the shooting site in Nara.

When Prime Minister Abe resigned, he accused him of relapsed ulcerative colitis since he was a teenager. At that time, it was difficult to leave many of his goals unfinished, especially the issue of the Japanese abducted by North Korea a few years ago, the territorial dispute with Russia, and the revision of Japan’s war abandonment constitution. Could not be resolved.

Its transnationalism offended South Korea and China, and his push to create what he saw as a more normal defensive stance offended many Japanese. Prime Minister Abe was unable to achieve his important goal of formally rewriting the US conscription pacifist constitution due to lack of public support.

Loyalist said his legacy was a stronger US-Japan relationship intended to strengthen Japan’s defense capabilities. However, Prime Minister Abe created an enemy by forcing defense objectives and other controversial issues through parliament, despite strong public opposition.

Prime Minister Abe was groomed to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi. His political rhetoric often focused on making Japan a “normal” and “beautiful” country with stronger military power and a greater role in international affairs.

World leaders praised Prime Minister Abe, and many expressed shock and sadness. US President Joe Biden praised him, saying, “His vision of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific will continue. Above all, he cares deeply about the Japanese and devotes his life to their service. “

On Saturday, Biden called Kishida to express resentment, sadness, and deep condolences for Prime Minister Abe’s shooting. Biden pointed out the importance of Prime Minister Abe’s legacy through the establishment of quad conferences in Japan, the United States, Australia and India. According to the White House, Biden is confident in the strength of Japan’s democracy, and the two leaders talk about how Prime Minister Abe’s legacy will survive as his allies continue to defend peace and democracy. We talked.

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose term from 2005 to 21 almost overlapped with Prime Minister Abe, said she was overwhelmed by “a timid and sneaky assassination.” India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a memorial day for Prime Minister Abe on Saturday, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted that he remembers “his cooperation and commitment to multilateralism.”

Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, declined to comment except that Beijing expressed sympathy for Prime Minister Abe’s family and said the shooting should not be related to bilateral relations. However, social media posts from the country were harsh, and some called the shooter a “hero.” This reflects strong sentiment towards right-wing Japanese politicians who question or deny that Japanese troops have committed wartime atrocity crimes in China.

Biden, who deals with summer shootings in the United States, also said that “gun violence always leaves deep scars on the communities affected by it.”

Japan is known for its particularly strict gun control. According to police, the population is 125 million, with only 10 gun-related criminal cases last year, one dead and four injured. Eight of those cases were gang-related. In Tokyo, 61 guns were confiscated, but there were no gun incidents, injuries or deaths in the same year.

Prime Minister Abe was proud to strengthen Japan’s security alliance with the United States and to visit the city of Hiroshima, where US President Barack Obama dropped the atomic bomb, for the first time. He also helped Tokyo gain the right to host the 2020 Olympics by pledged to be “controlled” when the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster was “uncontrolled.”

He became Japan’s youngest prime minister at the age of 52 in 2006, but his overly nationalist first mission abruptly ended a year later for his health.

The end of Abe’s scandal-filled first mission as Prime Minister was the beginning of a six-year yearly leadership change, remembered as an era of unstable “revolving door” politics.

When Prime Minister Abe took office in 2012, he vowed to revitalize the country and lift the economy out of deflationary stagnation with a formula of “Abenomics” that combines fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reforms.

He won six national elections, seized power, strengthened Japan’s defense role and capabilities, and strengthened its security alliance with the United States. He also strengthened patriotic education at school and increased Japan’s international profile.

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Follow AP’s Asia Pacific coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/asia-pacific

Former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe assassinated during a speech – Reporter Online

Source link Former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe assassinated during a speech – Reporter Online

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