Speed Reads

Rest in Peace

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dies after being shot

Shinzo Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, has died from gunshot wounds, Japan's NHK and Kyodo News report. He was 67. Abe was shot with a handmade weapon on Friday while he campaigning for fellow a Liberal Democratic Party politician in Nara ahead of Sunday's elections for the upper house of Japan's parliament. He was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries to his neck and chest, Japanese media reported, and no vital signs.

"Although he resigned as prime minister in 2020, Abe remained popular and influential and was a staple on the campaign trail," The Washington Post reports. Police arrested a 41-year-old local, Tetsuya Yamagami, a former member of Japan's Maritime Self Defense Forces, and charged him with shooting Abe.

Abe's assassination shocked Japan, where guns are strictly regulated and political violence rare, and the world. Before Abe's death was confirmed, leaders and former leaders from across the world responded with horror and sorrow to the attempt on his life. An emotional Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the government was preparing for all possible situations, including delaying Sunday's elections.