Japan’s ex-leader Shinzo Abe dies from gunshot, ‘biggest political incident in post-WWII Japan’
Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, 67, died hours after being shot by a gunman on July 8 in western Japan’s Nara, where he was making a campaign speech for the parliament’s upper house election to be held on Sunday. Analysts described Abe’s assassination as the biggest political incident in Japanese politics since the end of World War Two.
A doctor with the Nara Medical University Hospital said at a press conference that Abe died at 5:03 p.m, Kyodo News reported, hours after Abe was shot from the back and collapsed during his street speech, with blood on his shirt.
The attacker has been arrested and the case is under investigation by the local police. According to Japanese media reports, the suspect is a 41-year-old man and the motive for the attack remains unclear.
After the announcement of Abe’s death, Chinese Embassy in Japan also mourned Abe’s passing and extended condolences to his family.
Before his death was announced, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian commented at a press briefing on Friday that Abe used to make contributions to improving Japan’s ties with China.
As a two-time prime minister and leader of the largest faction in Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the attack on Abe could ripple through Japanese politics and the international community, experts said. The Japanese right-wing forces may use this incident to push forward the trend of conservative transformation in Japanese politics, and Abe’s supporters will continue to promote “free and open Indo-Pacific” and his other policies, bringing more security risks to the geopolitics of Northeast Asia, according to analysts.