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Shinzo Abe: Former Japanese Prime Minister is Dead

Former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe has been confirmed dead after being shot on Friday at a political campaign event.

Shinzo Abe, 67, died at a hospital in Kashihara City, Nara, where he was receiving medical treatment. The former PM was assassinated despite Japan’s strict gun laws and with campaigning underway ahead of upper house elections on Sunday, 10th July 2022.

The current Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida who abandoned the campaign trail after the shooting condemned the act saying, it’s “a barbaric act during election campaigning, which is the foundation of democracy. It is absolutely unforgivable. I condemn this act in the strongest terms.”

The attack came before noon in the country’s western region of Nara, where Shinzo Abe had been delivering a stump speech. Footage broadcast by NHK showed him standing on a stage when a man dressed in grey shirt and brown trousers begins approaching from behind, before drawing something from a bag and firing.

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As spectators and reporters ducked, a man was shown being tackled to the ground by security. Local media identified the man as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, citing police sources, with several media outlets describing him as a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, the country’s navy.

Meanwhile, the President of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has extended the condolences of the Nigerian Government to the family of Shinzo Abe, and to the Government and people of Japan in the wake of the gruesome assassination.

In a statement signed on Friday by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said Shinzo Abe will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to strengthening trade and investment between Africa and Japan through various initiatives and partnerships, using the instrumentality of Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

According to the statement, titled ‘President Buhari commiserates with Japan on tragic death of former Prime Minister,’ Buhari joined “all Japanese in mourning the loss of the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister and outstanding leader.”

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Shinzo Abe is Japan’s longest-serving prime minister who held office in 2006 for one year and again from 2012 to 2020 and was forced to step down due to the debilitating bowel condition known as ulcerative colitis.