Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died after being shot during a campaign speech on Friday in Japan's Nara. The 67-year-old was shot from behind minutes after he started his speech. He was airlifted to a hospital for emergency treatment but was not breathing and his heart had stopped. He was later pronounced dead despite emergency treatment that included massive blood transfusions.
Meanwhile, police arrested the shooter at the scene of the attack and a gun was recovered from the area. He was later identified as Tetsuya Yamagami. According to reports, the 41-year-old served in the Maritime Self-Defense Force for three years in the 2000s.
Yamagami, reports said, was "dissatisfied" with Abe and wanted to kill him. He opened fire at the former PM with an apparently homemade gun. Explosives were also found at the shooter's house, reports said.
A witness told Japan’s NHK World news organisation that Yamagami, a resident of Nara, did not attempt to escape after the shooting. Reportedly, he laid down his weapon and remained on the spot as the security personnel apprehended him.
Abe was Japan's longest-serving PM before stepping down in 2020.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, has announced one-day national mourning on July 9. He said he was shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of his "dearest friends".
"He (Abe) was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place," Modi said.
"My association with Mr. Abe goes back many years. I had got to know him during my tenure as Gujarat CM and our friendship continued after I became PM. His sharp insights on economy and global affairs always made a deep impression on me," the Prime Minister said.
Modi said that during my recent visit to Japan, he had the opportunity to meet Abe again and discuss many issues.
"He was witty and insightful as always. Little did I know that this would be our last meeting. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the Japanese people," Modi said.
"Mr Abe made an immense contribution to elevating India-Japan relations to the level of a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. Today, the whole of India mourns with Japan and we stand in solidarity with our Japanese brothers and sisters in this difficult moment," he said.
(With inputs from agencies)