Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been shot dead while campaigning for the country’s upper parliament.
Abe was in the western city of Nara to seek support for a candidate of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) for weekend senate elections.
The motive for the shooting is not known but the suspect 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, a resident of Nara, has been arrested and charged.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has termed the killing as a “barbaric, malicious incident” which is “totally intolerable
Abe 67 resigned in the year 2020 after serving as Japan’s longest prime minister. He initially held office in 2006 for one year and again from 2012 to 2020, when he resigned on health grounds.
Abe was succeeded by close party ally Yoshihide Suga, but was still very influential in Japanese politics.
Abe came from a political dynasty as son of former foreign minister Shintaro Abe and grandson of former prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi.
He was first elected to parliament in 1993, and in 2005 he became a cabinet member when then prime minister Junichiro Koizumi appointed him to the high-profile role of chief cabinet secretary.
His rise to the top came swiftly as he became Japan’s youngest post-war prime minister in 2006. He will be remembered for his Abenomics policy and his motto “politics demands producing results” which was his hallmark.