Former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, died after he was shot in the morning while on campaign trail for a parliamentary election in his country. He was shot twice while he was speaking at an election campaign in the city of Nara. He fell to the ground and the police soon arrested his attacker.
Following the news of PM Abe’s death, India will be observing one day state mourning on Saturday (July 9) as a mark of respect on his passing away.
Announcing State Mourning, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a statement has said that the national flag will be flown at half mast through the day of mourning on all buildings and there will be no official entertainment on the day.
Who killed him?
The man who reportedly shot him is 41 year old Tetsuya Yamagami, an ex-marine in Japan’s self-defence forces. And according to media reports coming from Tokyo have told the police he was not satisfied with Mr Abe and wanted to kill him.
Has this happened before?
Yes. The last time such an assassination took place in Japan was in 1932 when the then Japanese PM Inukai Tsuyoshi was shot by eleven junior Navy officers.
Close ties between the two leaders
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing his shock over the Japanese leader’s death addressed him as a “dear friend”.
He tweeted: “He 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.”
Mr Abe was the longest serving prime minister of his country and he shared a special bond with India. In 2021, he was given India’s second-highest civilian award — the Padma Vibhushan.
He is one of the most consequential leaders of Japan in its post-war history and one of the longest serving Prime Ministers of his country. He was PM of Japan from 2006-07 and then again from 2012 to 2020. In 2020, he stepped down due to health reasons. He was later diagnosed with a relapse of ulcerative colitis.
Friendship with PM Modi
His friendship goes back to Mr Modi’s days as the Gujarat Chief Minister. They both shared close ties. And the former PM of Japan had gone on record to call Prime Minister Modi as a dependable friend. Because of their close relations and understanding the bilateral relations between India and Japan deepened and were elevated to a special strategic and global partnership.
As reported earlier, as PM of Japan Abe went to Varanasi – Lok Sabha constituency of PM Modi in 2015. He witnessed the Ganga aarti.
And when he visited India again after two year, he landed in Ahmedabad and laid the foundation of the first bullet train of India.
Mr Abe hosted PM Modi a year later at his private holiday home. This was during the India-Japan annual summit.
He was also the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in 2014.
While addressing a joint session of the Indian Parliament in 2007, he recalled that India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru had hosted his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi. He was the then PM of Japan and had visited New Delhi in 1957.
He played a major role in strengthening Japan in the area of defence and foreign policy and he also tried amending his country’s pacifist post-war constitution. PM Abe was known for his economic reforms and policies which helped in the growth of the Japanese economy. His push for reforms came to be known as Abenomics.
In Japan which prides itself as a safe country, guns are very difficult to own. Gun violence is very rare just as political violence.
While he was on a campaign trail, he was surrounded by a team of security police; however the assassin managed to get very close to him.