Shinzo Abe was shot dead during a speech delivered in Japan on Friday

Tragedy rocked the island nation of Japan Friday when former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was gunned down by an assailant during a speech in Nara, Japan.

Abe was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead later hours later.

Former PM Shinzo Abe meeting President Trump in 2018

The suspect, 41 year old Tetsuya Yamagami, is currently in police custody where he has admitted to using a homemade firearm to assassinate the former Prime Minister.

Abe was a beloved and unifying figure for many in Japan, having been the longest serving Prime Minister in Japanese history, he served in this capacity from 2006-2007 and again from 20012-2020, resigning his second tenure due to health reasons.

Abe is remembered by world leaders from around the globe and the political spectrum as a strong and decent leader who did well by the world and by his country.

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President Donald Trump made the following post in recognition of Abe, following news of his death:

President Donald Trump honors the memory of Shinzo Abe

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a similarly heartfelt Tweet:

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The UK’s Boris Johnson also Tweeted in honor of Abe’s memory.

Additionally, France’s Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky also made statements of their condolences and of honor for Abe.

Japan’s extraordinarily low, by industrialized countries’ standards, violent crime rate makes his assassination even more shocking to the island nation. Release have not released the precise reason for the gunman’s actions, however they did state that the shooter was “frustrated” with a “specific organization.”

This assassination happened in spite of Japan having among the strictest gun laws in the entire world. Japan’s philosophy of governance is one which is draconian by America’s standards, and this reflects especially on gun laws. Outside of police and military, rifles and handguns are entirely illegal to be owned with no exceptions. Hunters are allowed shotguns under only very niche and heavily monitored circumstances. Yet in spite of this, the shooter was able to produce his own firearm and ammunition to kill a beloved world leader.

Abe is the first Democratic world leader, currently serving or otherwise, to have been victim to an assassination in years. He leaves behind a wife of nearly 40 years.

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