Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe died in hospital after he was shot at a political campaign event.
Abe was shot twice while he was giving a speech on a street in the city of Nara on Friday morning.
Security officials at the scene tackled the gunman and a 41-year-old suspect is now in police custody.
The suspect, named Tetsuya Yamagami, admitted to shooting Abe with a homemade gun. He said he had a grudge against a “specific organisation”, police said.
Police officers told a news conference that a search of the suspect’s home brought out several other handmade weapons. These are similar to those used in the attack. Police confiscated all of these weapons after a search of the suspect’s house.
Police also found explosives at the home of the suspect. They also advised residents to evacuate the area.
The suspect informed officers he had a grudge against a specific group. He believed Abe was connected to that group. Police said they are investigating why the former PM was targeted. by other people related to the group.
Asked by a member of the Japanese media whether the gunman’s intention was to kill Abe, police say only that Mr Yamagami admitted to shooting the former PM.
Japan PM condemns the attack on Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the attack. He said, ‘It is barbaric and malicious. It cannot be tolerated.”
This attack was “an act of brutality that happened during the elections. This is the very foundation of our democracy. It is absolutely unforgivable,” Mr Kishida said, speaking before Abe’s death was confirmed.
World leaders and former leader send their condolences. One of them was former PM of Malaysia, Najib Razak. He expressed his condolences in a Facebook post. He called Abe a friend to Malaysia and Japan relations. Najib added that Malaysia and Japan relations strengthened especially during the former PM’s term.
Former US President Barack Obama also penned his condolences to the late Shinzo Abe. He expressed his sadness at the passing of someone he considered a close friend and partner. Obama added that Japan and US relations soared especially during Abe’s term as PM. He mentioned meeting him on several occasions during his term as president.
Former President Donald Trump twitted on Shinzo Abe’s death as well. He expressed that Shinzo Abe was a great man and leader. He also expressed how much Shinzo Abe cherished his country. Trump ended his twit by saying that there will be no one like Abe.
The sudden death of Shinzo Abe has seemed to impact not just citizens of Japan but leaders around the world too. Above all, the sudden demise of the former PM leaves many in shock.