Shinzo Abe, Japan’s former prime minister and one of the most prominent political figures in the country’s modern history, died Friday at the age of 67 after being shot twice at a campaign rally in Nara, near Kyoto. The former president was rushed to the most fenced hospital, in critical condition, and a few hours later the public broadcaster NHK confirmed his death on social networks.
“Breaking news: Official sources say former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has died on Friday. He has been shot in the middle of a rally in the city of Nara, near Kyoto,” the radio and television corporation tweeted. The wife of the former head of government, Akie Abe, immediately traveled to Nara to accompany her husband in his last hours of life.
The alleged perpetrator of the murder has been identified in recent minutes. This is a 41-year-old ex-military officer who was currently unemployed. Far from fleeing after consummating his crime, the still suspect stood still and allowed himself to be apprehended by the bodyguards and police officers who were watching the event. The reasons that would have driven him to end the life of the politician are unknown at the moment.
The death of Shinzo Abe, who directed the destinies of the country from 2012 to 2020, and the terrible circumstances in which it has occurred has shocked Japanese society and international public opinion. This is the first crime of its kind committed against a head of government since the time of World War II. Abe, who notably boosted the Japanese economy during his eight years in office based on a program baptized with the name of ‘Abenomics’, aspired to revalidate his act of deputy in the legislative elections scheduled for this Sunday.
Japan is one of the strictest countries in the world when it comes to the acquisition and use of weapons, so the shocking event that has ended the life of Shinzo Abe, the prime minister with the longest mandate in the democratic history of the archipelago, has generated an understandable barrage of condolences, as well as signs of consternation and indignation. Without going any further, Abe’s successor in the head of government, Fumio Kishida, has described the crime as “unforgivable”.
“This attack is an act of brutality perpetrated during an election, the true foundation of our democracy, and it is absolutely unforgivable,” said the current Japanese premier while trying to hold back tears.