Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister of Japan who held the workplace longer than anybody else, was fatally shot on Friday whereas giving a speech for a politician in the metropolis of Nara.
His killing shocked Japan, the place gun violence of any sort is uncommon. Though Mr. Abe, who was 67, stepped down in 2020, he was nonetheless a drive in Japanese politics. The police have arrested a suspect.
Here’s what we learn about the case thus far.
The police have mentioned little about the suspect or a motive.
A Nara resident, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, was apprehended moments after the taking pictures. The police say he confessed that he had supposed to kill Mr. Abe. Mr. Yamagami held “a grudge” towards a bunch that he believed Mr. Abe was related to, in response to the police, who didn’t establish the group.
Little is publicly identified about Mr. Yamagami, who seems to have spent three years in Japan’s Navy. The police have charged him with homicide.
On Sunday, they mentioned they have been investigating whether or not he had attended an earlier Abe speech, on the day earlier than the killing. Video from that rally, in the metropolis of Okayama, reveals a person who appears to be like like Mr. Yamagami standing behind the former prime minister.
Abe’s safety was flawed, the police have acknowledged.
Mr. Abe, certainly one of Japan’s most outstanding figures, was shot at shut vary, in daylight, by a gunman who walked previous safety guards unobstructed. Only after firing a second shot was the assailant tackled and subdued. Many individuals, in Japan and past, have requested how that may very well be attainable.
Tomoaki Onizuka, the head of the Nara prefectural police, mentioned on Saturday that it was “undeniable that there were problems in the security” supplied for Mr. Abe.
In Japan, the place the crime fee is low and weapons are troublesome to come back by, it has been widespread for politicians to mingle freely with voters. That might now change. As Prime Minister Fumio Kishida campaigned on Saturday, cops patrolled rooftops and subjected residents to physique scans.
It’s exhausting to purchase a gun in Japan. This one was do-it-yourself.
Japan has a few of the toughest gun laws in the world, and deadly shootings are extraordinarily uncommon. There was solely one in every of of final 12 months, excluding accidents or suicides, in response to the National Police Agency.
Those onerous restrictions on shopping for firearms didn’t cease Mr. Abe’s killer as a result of he used a crude do-it-yourself gun. The police say they discovered a number of others prefer it after they searched his house. They additionally discovered boards that appeared to have been used for goal apply.
Though he’d left workplace, Abe was nonetheless a robust determine.
Mr. Abe resigned as prime minister, citing well being issues, in 2020. Days earlier, he had set a file for the longest uninterrupted run in workplace by any Japanese premier: almost eight years. (He had additionally served a a lot shorter time period in 2006-7.)
After stepping down, he wielded a lot behind-the-scenes affect with the governing Liberal Democratic Party, and was generally known as a “shadow shogun.” When he was shot, Mr. Abe was campaigning for certainly one of the get together’s candidates for the Upper House of Parliament in elections held Sunday.