Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has died in a hospital in Nara, where he was taken in critical condition after being assassinated, NHK reports . The Kremlin said it was "deeply saddened" by Abe's death, calling him a "patriot" who had "good relations with Putin."
The attempt on the life of the former Japanese prime minister was made during a campaign in support of a comrade-in-arms who was re-elected to the upper house of the Japanese parliament. While Abe was giving a speech, he was shot twice with homemade weapons. “I didn't understand what happened. I saw [Abe] fall,” said politician Yoshio Ogita, who was standing next to him.
Abe, without signs of life, was taken by helicopter to a hospital near Nara. Doctors said that at that time the former prime minister was in a state of "cardiac and lung arrest", that is, clinical death (in Japan, only an authorized doctor can officially confirm death).
The police immediately detained the suspect - he turned out to be a 41-year-old local resident and a former soldier. During interrogation, he said that he was dissatisfied with the work of the former prime minister, so he decided to kill him.
Firearm-related crimes are rare in Japan. In 2021, only 10 such incidents were recorded, one of which led to the death of a person, follows from the data of the Japanese police.
“We are convinced that those who planned and committed this monstrous crime will bear the due measure of responsibility for this act of terrorism, which has no and cannot be justified,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said .
Abe began his political career as secretary to his father, Shintaro Abe, the former foreign minister of Japan. In 1993, Abe Jr. was elected to the lower house of the Japanese parliament. The first time he was the prime minister of the country in 2006-2007, then from 2012 to 2020, he had to resign due to health problems.
During his second term, Abe pursued anti-deflationary economic policies and also pushed for reform of Japan's pacifist post-World War II constitution due to the growing threat from China. In 2014, his administration authorized the use of collective self-defense to protect allies even without attacking Japan, and two years later expanded the powers of the Self-Defense Forces.
Abe also proposed an eight-point plan, which implies strengthening relations between Russia and Japan in the fields of energy, small and medium-sized businesses, industrialization of the Far East, expanding the export base, strengthening cooperation in the field of advanced technologies, including nuclear energy, as well as in the field of humanitarian exchanges. But after the outbreak of the war, Japan, under the leadership of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, imposed several packages of sanctions against Russia.