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Japan’s Ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Dies After Being Shot

July 8, 2022
Shinzo Abe in 2017 | Reuters
Shinzo Abe in 2017 | Reuters

Japan’s former Prime Minister and President of the Liberal Democratic Party died in the western Japanese city of Nara on Friday 8 July, after being shot while delivering a speech, according to Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party officials.

Two gunshots were heard at the scene as a man shot Abe from behind, wielding what appeared to be a homemade shotgun, according to reports.

Abe died around five and a half hours after the shooting, showing no vital signs as he was brought into the hospital. He had bled to death, with a medical professional citing two deep injuries.

The assassination has sent a wave of shock through the nation where gun violence is extremely rare.

Given how strictly the ownership of firearms in Japan is regulated, the steps to owning a gun in the country are long and arduous, making for a virtually gun-free nation.

During his tenure, Abe maintained close ties with Egypt and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

In 2020, President Al-Sisi ordered a new axis in Cairo to be eponymous with the former Japanese Prime Minister, the Shinzo Abe Axis. At the time, Abe had recently resigned from his post for health-related reasons.

Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi during Abe's visit to Cairo in 2015 | The Japan Times
Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during Abe’s visit to Cairo in 2015 | The Japan Times

President Al-Sisi has also issued a statement in response to Abe’s death.

“It is with great sadness and sorrow, that I receive the news of the death of the former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, following a treacherous assassination. Shinzo Abe was a loyal friend of Egypt, loving and supporting it at all times and circumstances. During his reign, our bilateral relations witnessed an unprecedented development at all levels,” comments Al-Sisi.

In a second tweet, Al-Sisi adds, “I offer my condolences to the friendly Japanese people for the loss of such a great leader, and I assure that Egypt will not forget the sincere efforts made by Shinzo Abe to strengthen our cooperation, and I will work to immortalize his name as it should.”

Abe, 67, was Japan’s longest-serving leader to date.

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