By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
TOKYO (Worthy News) – Japan plunged into mourning and political turmoil Friday as its former prime minister and longest-serving leader, Shinzo Abe, died after being shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election.
Abe, 67, was rushed to the hospital after a man opened fire from behind with an apparently homemade gun. The shooting occurred while Abe spoke at a drab traffic island in the western city of Nara, footage showed.
It was reportedly the first assassination of a sitting or former Japanese prime minister since the days of prewar militarism in the 1930s.
His successor, Fumio Kishida, called the shooting of Abe – the country’s longest-governing prime minister until he resigned in 2020 – “an unforgivable act.”
His wife, Akie Abe, had arrived in Nara, where her husband was being treated.
Abe’s brother, defense minister Nobuo Kishi, said Abe was receiving blood transfusions, but doctors eventually could not save his life. The minister described the shooting as a “sacrilege against democracy.”
Japan, a close U.S. ally, has near-zero tolerance for gun ownership and one of the lowest rates of gun violence in the world, making the attack on Shinzo Abe particularly shocking, observers said.
The Secretary-General of the U.S.-led NATO military alliance Jens Stoltenberg said he was “deeply shocked.” “My thoughts are with him and his family,” he said on the social networking site Twitter. tweeted. “NATO stands with the people of our close partner Japan.”
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