Former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe Assassinated at 67

Shinzo Abe announcing his retirement on August 28th, 2020. Abe had been the longest serving Japanese Prime Minister, whose conservative policies defined Japan’s foreign policy. (Image via Japanese Government)

Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of Japan, was assassinated at 11:30 am JST, on July 8th while giving a speech near Yamato-Saidaiji Station in the city of Nara, Japan.

Abe was shot up to three times with what appeared to be a homemade shotgun by a former member of the Japanese navy named Tetsuya Yamagami. The shooter allegedly claimed he was ‘dissatisfied’ with Abe, and that he had ‘shot to kill’.

Abe was allegedly conscious directly after the shooting but was reported to have no vital signs upon arriving at a local hospital, potentially suffering from cardiac arrest. He was wounded in the chest and neck. Despite suffering from cardiac arrest, a teary-eyed Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirmed at 2:45 pm that doctors were still doing everything in their power to save Abe’s life. Abe was declared dead at 5:03 pm.

Reactions in and outside Japan have unanimously condemned the assassination. Japanese opposition parties condemned the shooting, with the majority echoing the sentiment that the assassination was a barbaric crime against democracy. Similar sentiments were echoed throughout the world, as leaders and officials expressed their shock and sadness.

The assassination of Shinzo Abe is incredibly shocking – and I’m deeply saddened. The world has lost a great man of vision, and Canada has lost a close friend. My thoughts are with his wife, Akie, and the people of Japan as they mourn this loss. You’ll be missed, my friend.

🇨🇦 Prime Minister of Canada – Justin Trudeau

“I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe. He was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place.”

🇮🇳 Prime Minister of India – Narendra Modi

“I send my condolences to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s family and the Japanese people. An act of terrorism during an election is a brutal attack against the very foundation of democracy. It is utterly unacceptable, and I strongly condemn such an attack.”

🇰🇷 President of South Korea – Yoon Suk Yeol

“Incredibly sad news about Shinzo Abe. His global leadership through unchartered times will be remembered by many. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the Japanese people. The UK stands with you at this dark and sad time.”

🇬🇧 Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – Boris Johnson

“I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and killed. He was a champion of the friendship between our people. The United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief.”

🇺🇸 President of the United States – Joseph R. Biden

Though Shinzo Abe has been a polarizing figure in Japan and abroad, he had a monumental legacy in East Asian diplomacy. A strong advocate against growing Chinese influence and a close friend of Taiwan, Abe maintained a close partnership with the United States throughout volatile administrations, maintaining a close friendship with former President Donald Trump despite international and domestic outcry. Seeking greater cooperation against Chinese encroachment, Shinzo’s controversial stances on denying Japanese war crimes and declining birth-rate stand alongside his exceptional achievements in re-defining Japan’s foreign policy.


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