Confirmation of former PM Shinzo Abe’s death, after Assassination in Nara

Confirmation of former PM Shinzo Abe’s death, after Assassination in Nara

Photo by Kent Nishimura, Getty Images.

Before midday, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot in the back while speaking at a public address in Nara City, Nara Prefecture. Abe was campaigning for his former political party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), for the upcoming Upper House election on July 10th. 

The perpetrator, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, shot the former Prime Minister twice with what appeared to be an improvised weapon, inflicting wounds to the neck and heart. Japanese media reported Abe was not showing any vital signs at the scene. 

Abe was transported to Nara University Medical Hospital, where he passed away at 5:03 PM that afternoon. Doctors confirmed that he had died from haemorrhaging. 

Yamagami was said to be “dissatisfied with the former Prime Minister, and had the intention of killing Abe”. However, this dissatisfaction was not due to “Abe’s political opinions”, the perpetrator said in a statement to the police. Yamagami did not attempt to flee; instead, placing the gun on the ground, waiting to be tackled and arrested. 

Yamagami was a Maritime Self Defence Force personnel from 2002 to 2005. Yamagami subsequently had his apartment searched at around 5:00 PM that afternoon. The search revealed Yamagami had explosive material in his possession, according to police. 

Abe resigned in June of 2020 due to a relapse in ulcerative colitis, a bowel disease which had affected him for most of his life. He was Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister at the time of his resignation. 

Abe was 67.