Former Prime Minister Abe, 67, was giving a campaign speech in Nara City, Japan, and was shot from behind. He later died. Police immediately arrested a man in his 40s on the scene. There is no known motive currently. He was the longest uninterrupted serving Prime Minister of the country – having served 8 years – and resigned late 2020 for health reasons.
At around 11:30 AM, Prime Minister Abe went into cardiopulmonary arrest, meaning his heart had stopped and he was not breathing, as he was airlifted to Nara Medical University Hospital in Kashihara City by medical chopper. According to police, Abe was awake and responsive when he was put in the ambulance on the way to chopper, but died later.
A nearby witness to NHK News said, “Abe was giving a speech normally, but a man came from behind. The first shot heard only a very loud sound and the person did not fall down. However, the moment the second shot was shot, former Prime Minister Abe collapsed. Many people around him were gathering for a heart massage, etc. The man was wearing a gray T-shirt on the top and ocher on the bottom. It looked like trousers. The man didn’t seem to run away, he stayed there and the gun was there. After that, he was taken down by the people who seemed to be SPs around him.”
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, who is in the same party as Abe, condemned the attack: “A barbaric act like this is absolutely unforgivable, no matter what the reasons are, and we condemn it strongly.”
Here is another angle of the killing.
Another video allegedly shows authorities taking away the suspect.
Here’s another tweet showing the suspect being allegedly apprehended.
Footage shows officials taking Abe off the chopper. His condition had deteriorated by this point considerably.
Several world leaders have already given their condolences to the slain leader.
“He was working for peace and stability in Japan and the world,” current Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during a press conference. “He was a dear friend who loved this country … To lose such a figure in this manner is absolutely devastating.”
US Secretary of State Tony Blink also gave his condolences, “This is shocking. It’s profoundly disturbing … It’s also such a strong personal loss for so many people. In the United States, Prime Minister Abe was an extraordinary partner. And someone who clearly was a great leader for Japan,” Blinken told reporters in Indonesia, where he is attending a G20 gathering of foreign ministers.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted, “Deeply saddened by the heinous killing of Shinzo Abe, a defender of democracy and my friend & colleague over many years. My deepest condolences to his family, PM @kishida230 & the people of #NATO’s partner #Japan at this difficult time,” Stoltenberg tweeted.
Abe was seen as a fierce Japanese nationalist with ambitions to make Japan a military power again.
This is going to massively change things in Japan and looks like a straight up hit job. We don’t know the motive currently, but it just reeks of one. Did you like Abe? Why do you think this happened and what possibly could have been the motive?