New Delhi: India has announced one day of state mourning on July 9 as a mark of respect for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was shot on Friday while delivering a campaign speech in Nara city in western Japan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his shock over the tragic demise of Abe and in a tweet said: “As a mark of our deepest respect for former Prime Minister #ShinzoAbe, a one-day national mourning shall be observed on 9 July 2022,” PM Modi wrote, “I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe. 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.”
After the attack on him, Abe was rushed to hospital and initial media reports citing authorities said that it appeared that the former Japanese PM was shot at in the chest. They described his condition as in “cardiopulmonary arrest” and said he showed no vital signs.
Public broadcaster NHK later reported, citing ruling Liberal Democratic Party sources that Abe, had died. Abe died at 5:03 pm (local time) and had two gunshot wounds in his neck, according to officials from Nara Medical University Hospital.
Japanese Police arrested a suspect for shooting Abe identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old resident of Nara City, according to local media. A gun that appeared to be handmade was retrieved from the site where Abe was campaigning for a candidate ahead of Sunday’s elections for Japan’s upper house of Parliament.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh too expressed grief over the unfortunate moment. “Deeply saddened by the demise of former PM of Japan, Shinzo Abe. His role in strengthening the strategic relationship between India & Japan was commendable. He leaves behind a lasting legacy in the Indo-Pacific. My condolences to his family & to the people of Japan,” he wrote in a tweet.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wrote, “Deeply saddened by the demise of former PM of Japan, Shinzo Abe. His role in strengthening the strategic relationship between India & Japan was commendable. He leaves behind a lasting legacy in the Indo-Pacific. My condolences to his family & to the people of Japan.”
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, stepped down in 2020 citing health reasons. He was prime minister of Japan twice, from 2006-07 and again from 2012-20. He was succeeded by Yoshihide Suga and later by Fumio Kishida.
Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida earlier in his live address to the country today said “this is not a forgivable act,” and that authorities would “take appropriate measures to handle the situation.”
Kishida further said that the motive behind Abe’s shooting is not known. The media outlet citing government sources also reported that Abe’s shooting suspect is an ex-member of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces.
The Japanese PM also requested everyone to not speculate about any political ramifications at the time. (ANI)