Former Japanese PM Abe Shot Dead During Speech, "Frustrated" Assassin Arrested

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jul 08, 2022 - 06:30 PM

Update (0930ET): President Biden released a statement Friday morning on the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Biden said he was "stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened" by the news

Here's President Biden's full statement:

I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and killed while campaigning. This is a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him. I had the privilege to work closely with Prime Minister Abe. 

As Vice President, I visited him in Tokyo and welcomed him to Washington. He was a champion of the Alliance between our nations and the friendship between our people. The longest-serving Japanese Prime Minister, his vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure. Above all, he cared deeply about the Japanese people and dedicated his life to their service. Even at the moment he was attacked, he was engaged in the work of democracy. 

While there are many details that we do not yet know, we know that violent attacks are never acceptable and that gun violence always leaves a deep scar on the communities that are affected by it. The United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief. I send my deepest condolences to his family. 

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Update: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pronounced dead after an assassin with a homemade shotgun fired several shots from behind, hitting him in the left chest region.

Shinzo fell to the ground, where he could reportedly be seen bleeding from the neck. After being rushed to the hospital, Abe fell into cardiac arrest and was unable to be revived.

The gunman, 41, wearing a grey t-shirt and tan pants, did not flee the scene, and was taken into custody by the police. 

Here's the moment the gunman was tackled by security personnel. 

While in custody, the gunman (a former maritime self-defense forces member) told police he intended to kill Abe because he was "frustrated" with the former premier, according to national public broadcaster NHK. 

The assassination is one of Japan's highest-profile acts of political violence since World War Two and came ahead of the country's upper house election on Sunday, which the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is expected to win. 

Japan is one of the world's safest countries and has the strictest gun control laws. There are still no details on the homemade shotgun and its manufacturing. 

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Update (2317ET): According to Kyodo news, former Japanese Prime Minister Abe is reportedly showing no signs of life and has suffered from cardiac arrest after being taken to the hospital, according to police and fire officials.

The 67-year-old was shot from approximately 3 meters (10 feet) away. The suspect, 41-year-old Yamagami Tatsuya, reportedly stayed on the scene until his arrest on an attempted murder charge.

Nikkei 225 futures erased gains following news of Abe's collapse, while the yen gained with US Treasuries.

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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly been shot in the chest during a campaign speech at around 11:30 a.m. in the city of Nara, near Kyoto. According to NHK what sounded like 'consecutive bangs' were heard, after which Abe could be seen bleeding - with some reports saying from the neck. It appears he was shot in the left chest area from behind.

The local fire department reports that Abe is in cardiac arrest, while Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members reported him to be unconscious.

A suspect, believed to be a young or middle-aged man, was apprehended at the scene along with a shotgun, according to NHK.

Futures took an immediate hit on the news.