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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Shot During Campaign Stop

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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot on Friday in the city of Nara in western Japan, according to local media. Abe, who was rushed to the hospital, is showing no vital signs, the local fire department said..



A reporter for the Japanese public broadcaster NHK said she heard what sounded like two gunshots, and saw Abe bleeding. Abe was making a stump speech on the street ahead of July 10 elections for the upper house of parliament.

Abe, 67, was reportedly shot from behind, possibly with a shotgun, NHK reported, citing police sources. NHK is reporting that a man was apprehended at the scene.

Abe, Japan’s longest serving prime minister, held office from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020. The 67-year-old resigned in 2020, citing health issues.

Despite leaving public office, Abe remained perhaps the most prominent politician in Japan. He was campaigning for his Liberal Democratic Party ahead of Sunday’s election in the upper house of Japan’s legislature.

Why is Shinzo Abe so important to Japanese politics?
It’s hard to overstate Abe’s power and influence in Japanese politics—even after he resigned as prime minister.

He ushered in “Abenomics,” a set of aggressive monetary and fiscal policies aimed at pulling Japan out of economic stagnation. The success of Abenomics in its early years raised Abe’s international reputation.

He campaigned for rewriting Japan’s pacifist constitution so that it would allow the nation of 126 million to come to the aid of allies. He also oversaw an expansion of the country’s military—technically the Self-Defense Force—and a more aggressive response to the rise of China in the region.

He also developed Japan’s foreign relations. In his first term, Abe formalized a four-way alliance with India, Australia, and the U.S.—aimed at improving maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region to counterbalance China.

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