Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a divisive arch-conservative and one of his nation’s most influential figures, was on Friday (July 8) killed after he was fatally shot at during an election campaign in western Japan’s Nara city.
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Abe, 67, was shot from behind minutes after he began his speech ahead of the weekend’s Upper House elections in one of the world’s safest nations that has some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere, according to Kyodo News.
Here is a list of several gun attacks on key figures, including politicians, in Japan in the past:
- In 1990, then Nagasaki City Mayor Motoshima Hitoshi was seriously injured after being shot by a right-winger.
- In 1992, a right-wing gunman fired shots at the Liberal Democratic Party’s then Vice President Kanemaru Shin during a speech in Tochigi Prefecture of the country. Kanemaru was, however, uninjured.
- In 1994, former Prime Minister Hosokawa Morihiro was shot at by a former member of a right-wing group in a Tokyo hotel. Hosokawa escaped unharmed in the incident.
- The National Police Agency’s then-Commissioner General Kunimatsu Takaji was shot and seriously injured in front of his residence in Tokyo in 1995.
- Another Nagasaki mayor, Ito Itcho, was gunned down by a member of an organised crime group in 2007.
Gun violence is extremely rare in Japan which has one of the strictest gun control measures anywhere in the world. Abe, who is believed to have been killed by a self-modified gun, was provided the highest protection.
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