Shinzo Abe, former Japanese Prime Minister, was assassinated while delivering a speech in Nara, Japan.

Friday morning, July 8, Shinzo Abe was murdered by gunshot shortly after commencing a campaign speech during a rally in Nara.

Even after receiving immediate emergency treatment, hospital representatives declared former Japan leader Abe deceased.

Who assassinated ex-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe?

Authorities arrested Tetsuya Yamagami as the main suspect in the assassination.

In the early 2000s, Yamagami had served as a Maritime Self-Defense Force officer in Japan.

According to The Japan Times, one of the gunman’s former work colleagues said he “never felt he [Yamagami] had political beliefs” and “can’t connect him to the attack.”

Global leaders honor Shinzo Abe’s legacy

Upon the news making international headlines, world leaders paid tribute to Abe’s life and legacy:

“Deeply saddened by the heinous killing of Shinzo Abe, a defender of democracy and my friend & colleague over many years. My deepest condolences to his family, PM @kishida230 & the people of #NATO’s partner #Japan at this difficult time,” tweeted Jens Stoiltenberg, NATO Secretary General.

“Few people know what a great man and leader Shinzo Abe was, but history will teach them and be kind. He was a unifier like no other, but above all, he was a man who loved and cherished his magnificent country, Japan. Shinzo Abe will be greatly missed. There will never be another like him,” said former U.S. President Donald Trump in a post on Truth Social.

“I am shocked and saddened by the assassination of my friend and longtime partner Shinzo Abe in Japan. Former Prime Minister Abe was devoted to both the country he served and the extraordinary alliance between the United States and Japan,” stated former U.S. President Barack Obama.

“Horrible news of a brutal assassination of former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. I am extending my deepest condolences to his family and the people of Japan at this difficult time. This heinous act of violence has no excuse,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, shared on Twitter.

Shinzo Abe had been the longest-serving prime minister in Japan’s history, with a total tenure spanning nine years (2006-2007, 2012-2020).

Featured image source: G8 UK, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr

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