Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has died after being shot during a campaign event in the city of Nara, Japan, on Friday. He was 67 years old.
The former Prime Minister was giving a campaign speech on behalf of Kei Sato, 43, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party from Nara who was running for re-election. Abe had been speaking for less than a minute when he was shot.
Abe’s death was confirmed by Dr. Hidetada Fukushima, a professor in charge of emergency medicine at Nara Medical University Hospital, according to the New York Times. Police have arrested 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, the man behind Abe’s assassination.
The Japanese Fire and Disaster Management Agency stated that Abe had been shot in his right neck and left chest. Videos posted on social media showed Abe collapsed and bleeding on the ground in Nara, close to Kyoto.
Hidetada Fukushima, the professor in charge of emergency medicine at Nara Medical University Hospital, stated on Friday evening that Abe had been pronounced dead shortly after 5 p.m. He was brought to the hospital at 12:20 p.m. Doctors tried to treat him, unfortunately to no avail.
During a news briefing, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated that the assassination was a “heinous act.” He also stated that “It is barbaric and malicious, and it cannot be tolerated.”
Abe made history in Japan for being the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister. During his tenure, he set out to jumpstart and overhaul Japan’s economy and unfetter the country’s military after decades of postwar pacifism.
He was also extremely friendly with numerous world leaders. These included 45th U.S. President Donald Trump, who maintained a consistently close relationship with the former Japanese Prime Minister. Abe hosted two visits with Trump, including one where the 45th U.S. President met with the country’s new emperor, Naruhito.
Leaders from across the globe have shared their condolence at the tragedy. As of writing, political leaders from the Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, South Korea, the Czech Republic, Israel, Sweden, India, France, Germany, Britain, Turkey, and Ukraine have all expressed their sorrow at Abe’s passing. Donald Trump has also issued his condolences about the tragedy.
“Really BAD NEWS FOR THE WORLD! Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is dead. He was assassinated. His killer was captured and will hopefully be dealt with swiftly and harshly. Few people know what a great man and leader Shinzo Abe was, but history will teach them and be kind. He was a unifier like no other, but above all, he was a man who loved and cherished his magnificent country, Japan. Shinzo Abe will be greatly missed. There will never be another like him!” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
As of writing, U.S. President Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris have yet to acknowledge Abe’s assassination. Both have not posted their condolences on social media yet.