Japan Ex-leader’s Alleged Killer Held Grudge Against Group – Police

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Police investigating the assassination of Japan’s ex-prime minister Shinzo Abe have said the suspect held a grudge against a “specific organisation”.

The alleged gunman, named as Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, believed Abe was part of the group and shot him for that reason, they said, without naming the group.

Abe died in hospital on Friday morning after being shot while speaking at a political campaign event.

Tetsuya Yamagami has admitted shooting him with a homemade gun, police said.

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Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister and his death at the age of 67 has profoundly shocked a country where gun crime is very rare.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he was “simply speechless” at the news of Abe’s death, vowing that Japan’s democracy would “never yield to violence”.

Police are still investigating whether his killer acted alone and why Abe was targeted out of other people related to the unnamed organisation.

Gunman made no attempt to flee

Abe was giving a speech for a political candidate at a road junction in the southern city of Nara when the attacker struck from behind.

Witnesses described a man carrying a large gun move within a few metres of Abe and fire twice at the former PM, who fell to the ground as bystanders screamed in shock and disbelief.

Photos circulating in the aftermath of the shooting showed the suspect standing just behind Abe as he gave his speech.

Security officers dived on to the gunman who made no attempt to run after he fired on Abe.

The weapon that killed the politician was made using metal and wood, officers said, and appeared to be wrapped in duct tape.

Several other handmade guns and explosives were later found at the suspect’s home.

Abe suffered two bullet wounds to his neck during the attack and also suffered damage to his heart.

He was said to be conscious and responsive in the minutes after the attack, but doctors said no vital signs were detected by the time the former prime minister was transferred for treatment.

Medics worked for hours to save him and Abe received more than 100 units of blood in transfusions, before he was pronounced dead at 5.03pm local time (0803 GMT).

The politician was out campaigning for his former party, the Liberal Democratic Party, in the run-up to elections on Sunday.

On Japanese social media, the hashtag “We want democracy, not violence” was trending throughout Friday, with many social media users expressing their horror and disgust about the incident.

Gun violence is extremely rare in Japan, where handguns are banned and incidents of political violence are almost unheard of.

In 2014, there were just six incidents of gun deaths in Japan, as compared to 33,599 in the US. People have to undergo a strict exam and mental health tests in order to buy a gun. Even then, only shotguns and air rifles are allowed.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

1 COMMENT

  1. It is sad when you read news of this level. But again Crime is everywhere, it existed from creation but when voters put leaders of any kind into power, it simply means that the majority choose to have you. Basically you become like GOD to the people that means you should be able to provide for the people, bridge the differences within your people and be able to secure the interest of all regardless of religion, political differences, status and gender. When any leader can disburse such to its people then you will ultimately reduce prejudice, hatred and anger amongst each other. RIP

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