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Japan’s Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Assassinated on Campaign Trail

"I am greatly shocked to hear that former Prime Minister Abe was shot today," said a campaigner with 350 Japan. "Such violence is unacceptable."
[Anthony Quintano / CC BY 2.0]

By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was fatally shot Friday as he delivered a campaign speech on behalf of a member of his party just days ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections.

Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was rushed to a hospital with wounds to his neck and left collarbone, apparently inflicted by a blast from a homemade shotgun. Hours later, news broke of Abe’s passing.

Police arrested the suspected gunman on the scene. The Financial Times reported that authorities in Nara, where the shooting took place, “named the suspect as Tetsuya Yamagami, a resident of the city, with no known occupation. According to the defense ministry, he served in the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force from 2002 to 2005.”

“This attack is an act of brutality that happened during the elections—the very foundation of our democracy—and is absolutely unforgivable,” said current Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

“I am greatly shocked to hear that former Prime Minister Abe was shot today,” said Takayoshi Yokoyama, a climate campaigner with 350 Japan. “Such violence is unacceptable. 350 Japan condemns any forms of violence, and we seek solutions to the climate crisis through peaceful, non-violent citizen action.”

The shooting prompted expressions of outrage and grief from world leaders.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry dubbed the assassination “an act of terrorism” and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez offered his “resounding condemnation of this cowardly attack.”

“Spain stands in solidarity with the Japanese people in these difficult times,” Sánchez wrote in a Twitter post.

Jake Johnson
Jake Johnson

Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

4 comments

  1. Weird. A story about an assassination with the reporter all smiles at the end of it.

  2. Meh.

    He was a major advocate of Japanese rearmament and ending the Japanese constitution’s ban on non-defensive armed forces. Frequent visitor to the hallowed graves of war criminals.

  3. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was apparently drawn toward a ‘path more traveled’ toward the dangerous “arc of history” headed toward Empire instead of surviving in the quiet and calm waters of peaceful democratic socialism.

    Many are lured, but few follow the path of my double-sided demonstration signs:

    LOVE OVER
    MONEY, POWER
    HATE & EMPIRE

    GROW LOVE
    END EMPIRE

  4. “Such violence is unacceptable…”

    But not, apparently, the violence that Abe inflicted (indirectly, with the help of many, many others) upon millions. No, that violence is A-OK and not to be mentioned.

    Violence begets violence. Just sayin’.

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