Patterico's Pontifications

7/7/2022

Breaking: Former Japan PM Shinzo Abe Shot, Rushed to Hospital [UPDATE: Has Died]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:05 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Story being covered on Japan Today, an English-language Japanese news site:

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was unconscious after being shot by an unidentified gunman while giving a stump speech on a western Japan road on Friday morning, police and firefighters said.

The former leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party was shot from behind while visiting the city of Nara as part of campaigning for the House of Councillors election scheduled on Sunday.

Police detained the assailant at the scene.

Abe fell to the ground after two apparent gunshots were heard and was rushed to hospital.

CNN, quoting the Japanese public broadcaster NHK, reports that the former PM was taken to Nara Medical University. No further news has emerged as of this posting. Abe has suffered from various health ailments in the past couple of decades, including colitis, which forced him to step down as prime minister in 2020.

UPDATE, 9:11 pm – Fox news claims that NHK reported that Abe did not appear to have any vital signs before being carried off in the ambulance.

UPDATE, 9:20 pm – According to Reuters, also quoting a local Japanese news organization, Abe was shot in the left side of his chest and in his neck with a shotgun.

UPDATE, 9:21 pm – Not good: “An official from the Nara City Fire Department has confirmed to CNN that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest when he collapsed while giving a campaign speech in Nara.”

UPDATE 9:31 pm – On the other hand, a hopeful sign: “Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was conscious and responsive while being transported to the hospital after the possible shooting, according to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, citing police sources.”

UPDATE 10:01 pm – I’m going to call it a night. Here’s hoping I wake up tomorrow to news of Mr. Abe’s steady recovery.

UPDATE 8:10 am Friday – Sadly, Shinzo Abe has died.

– JVW

42 Responses to “Breaking: Former Japan PM Shinzo Abe Shot, Rushed to Hospital [UPDATE: Has Died]”

  1. As of now, Japanese authorities have arrested a suspect in the shooting but released no information about him.

    JVW (020d31)

  2. How shocking and sad. Hopefully he recovers, and the shooter rots in jail the rest of his life.

    norcal (da5491)

  3. UPDATE, 9:11 pm – Fox news claims that NHK reported that Abe did not appear to have any vital signs before being carried off in the ambulance.

    JVW (020d31)

  4. Oh Lord, Rahm Emmanuel is the U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

    JVW (020d31)

  5. My first thought was that the shooter was an extreme nationalist or cultist. Then I discovered that Abe was considered right wing and nationalist himself.

    So, I’m guessing it was a leftist or a cultist.

    norcal (da5491)

  6. UPDATE, 9:20 pm – According to Reuters, also quoting a local Japanese news organization, Abe was shot in the left side of his chest and in his neck with a shotgun.

    JVW (020d31)

  7. UPDATE, 9:21 pm – Not good: “An official from the Nara City Fire Department has confirmed to CNN that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest when he collapsed while giving a campaign speech in Nara.”

    JVW (020d31)

  8. Abe is 67 years old.

    JVW (020d31)

  9. Gunplay in Japan is extremely rare. So as an influential former PM, his POV on going to the aid of Taiwan, should Xi invade, could be a motive to consider for an assassination attempt; or his position on NorKo as well.

    DCSCA (cb48ec)

  10. Geeze, unbelievable to see it in Japan…..their gun murder rate is subterranean. It’s surprising that the assailant would not have been gunned down….like suicide terrorism. I didn’t think Abe was that controversial…I guess I need to do some reading….

    AJ_Liberty (c82e21)

  11. UPDATE 9:31 pm – On the other hand, a hopeful sign: “Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was conscious and responsive while being transported to the hospital after the possible shooting, according to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, citing police sources.”

    JVW (020d31)

  12. Badiucao, the dissident Chinese-Australian artist, reports that pro-China activists are cheering the news on Weibo. Recall that it was under Shinzo Abe’s leadership that Japan increased their military position to challenge China’s hegemony in the Far Pacific.

    JVW (020d31)

  13. And the prize for the first person to get in a fatuous quote about guns in Japan on CNN goes to Nancy Snow:

    Friday’s shooting of Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will change the country “forever,” a security expert said.

    “It’s not only rare, but it’s really culturally unfathomable,” Nancy Snow, Japan director of the International Security Industrial Council, told CNN.

    The Japanese people can’t imagine having a gun culture like we have in the United States. This is a speechless moment. I really feel at a loss for words. I pray for the best for the former prime minister.

    What this will do to the national psyche of a people who move about freely and have a social contract with each other, that they will not resort to this type of violence … I am devastated thinking about that.

    Snow said Japan has been an “oasis” and had “shown what it can teach the US about guns.”

    JVW (020d31)

  14. And, oh look: Nancy Snow styles herself as an “expert” on propaganda. But of course she does.

    JVW (020d31)

  15. UPDATE 10:01 pm – I’m going to call it a night. Here’s hoping I wake up tomorrow to news of Mr. Abe’s steady recovery.

    JVW (020d31)

  16. So I was just reading this piece on Japan’s crime levels, and while it’s certainly much, much lowers than ours, there is certainly a dark side under the surface:

    Some suspects will falsely admit guilt just to end a stressful interrogation, and interrogations in Japan can be very stressful. Police and prosecutors may hold ordinary criminal suspects for up to 23 days without charge—longer than most other rich countries allow even terrorist suspects to be detained. Access to defence lawyers during this period is limited. In theory, suspects have the right to remain silent; but in practice prosecutors portray silence as evidence of guilt.

    Prosecutors put pressure on the police to extract confessions, and 23 days is plenty of time to extract one. Interrogators sometimes ram tables into a suspect, stamp on his feet or shout in his ears. Interviews can last for eight hours or more. Suspects are deprived of sleep and forced into physically awkward positions. Few people can withstand such treatment. “Not being able to sleep was the hardest for me,” says Kazuo Ishikawa, who held out for 30 days before signing a confession he couldn’t read (he was illiterate at the time) to a murder he says he didn’t commit. He spent 32 years in prison and is still fighting to be exonerated.

    Dana (1225fc)

  17. Thank you, Dana.

    It’s surprising that Japan’s legal system is so archaic.

    norcal (da5491)

  18. Oh Lord, Rahm Emmanuel is the U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

    I am sure that Emmanuel has Biden’s complete confidence here, which is what you want in ambassadors to important countries.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  19. Japan’s history is one where the “little people” have few rights. They’ve moved away from it some, but the legacy can be seen in the treatment of criminal suspects and the heavy restrictions on weapons of all sorts (Guns are impossible to get. Swords are also heavily controlled, and double-edged blades are restricted to about a foot in length).

    They say the shooter had a homemade weapon.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  20. Not the preferred outcome RIP.

    urbanleftbehind (186909)

  21. He died, I feel bad. He was probably dead upon arrival in the hospital. It’s like the assassination of President Kennedy — in the shock, and in the initial reporting, except that the period when it was merely said He was shot lasted longer.

    He was covered with a blanket or something when transported so nobody outside his entourage could make a guess at his condition. He was in a rather open space. His security guards responded immediately, BUT IT WAS TOO LATE.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  22. The Prime Minister of Japan condemned this, particularly because this took place during election season. The last major assault against a Japanese politician took place 60 years ago, but was with a sword.

    Guns are very hard to come by with in Japan. There are less than an average of ten firearms (deaths? murders) in Japan per year. The killer used a home made gun. He was in his 40s and had been in the military (Japan’s |self-defense” forces)

    He is now not believed to have acted out of a political motive, but because of some unspecified personal motive (a career grievance?)

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  23. This brings out: you can take care of the major or widespread causes, but there might always be additional small ones. It’s too easy for someone to kill (or seriously wound) someone else.

    What saves us from people killing each other all the time is that most people don’t do this, and that situation is maintained that way by a criminal justice system, which creates deterrence.

    Japan actually has a limited criminal justice system. I read that there is actually (normally?) a 15-year statute of limitations for murder.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  24. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a divisive arch-conservative and one of his nation’s most powerful and influential figures, has died after being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, hospital officials said.

    Wow,

    this is how Channel 7 chooses to lead their article.

    Everything is politicized to the left.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  25. UPDATE 8:10 am Friday – Sadly, Shinzo Abe has died.

    JVW (020d31)

  26. this is how Channel 7 chooses to lead their article.

    It has the “written by the recent J-school graduate whom we just hired straight out of the local grievance-mongering university” vibe to it.

    JVW (020d31)

  27. They got the bubble-headed-bleach-blond
    Who comes on at five
    She can tell you ’bout the murder with a gleam in her eye
    Some say that if it bleeds, it leads
    Give us leftwing bullsh*t

    Colonel Haiku (493c31)

  28. Oh Lord, Rahm Emmanuel is the U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

    I am sure that Emmanuel has Biden’s complete confidence here, which is what you want in ambassadors to important countries.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 7/7/2022 @ 11:40 pm

    Ambassadors are so 19th century, useful only as political payoffs and hostages.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  29. More details:

    ……..
    Police arrested a suspect, a 41-year-old man from Nara named Tetsuya Yamagami, and seized a gun. Yamagami was a member of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force for three years, defense officials told Japanese media.
    ……..
    Yamagami admitted to attempting murder, and said he wanted to attack Abe because he believed Abe was connected to a group that he hated, police said, declining to name the group. Police found multiple hand-made guns at Yamagami’s home. The gun he used Friday was nearly 16 inches long.
    ……..
    Japanese media reported that the suspect had told police that he was frustrated with Abe and aimed his firearm with the intent to kill the former conservative leader.
    …….
    Firearms are strictly regulated in Japan, and gun violence is most often associated with the yakuza, the Japanese criminal network. Last year, eight of the 10 shootings in Japan were related to the yakuza, according to the National Police Agency, resulting in one death and four injuries.

    Anyone trying to obtain a gun in Japan needs to apply for a permit, attend a class on gun safety and laws, and pass a written test. There is a full-day training course on safe shooting and practicing techniques. There are multiple rounds of checks and verification on the gun owner’s background and health, including information about their family, mental health, personal debt and criminal record. The gun must be registered with and inspected by police.
    ###########

    Related:

    Past assassinations and attacks on Japanese politicians

    Attacks on high-ranking politicians like former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are rare in Japan — but not without precedent. There have been a number of assassinations and assassination attempts on the country’s leaders during their time in office.

    In 1921, Takashi Hara, who established Japan’s full-fledged party Cabinet system and was known as the first commoner to become the prime minister, was stabbed to death at Tokyo Station by a young railway worker. Nine years later, Prime Minister Osachi Hamaguchi was attacked by a gunman at Tokyo Station and died of his wounds the following year.

    In 1932, a group of armed naval officers stormed the Prime Minister’s Office and shot premier Tsuyoshi Inukai, killing him, in what is now known as the “May 15 incident.”

    Abe’s own grandfather, Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, was stabbed in the thigh in 1960 and severely injured during a reception at the Prime Minister’s Office. That same year, Inejiro Asanuma, then head of the Japan Socialist Party, was fatally stabbed by a 17-year-old rightist while making a speech at a public hall in Hibiya, Tokyo.

    In the years that followed, Prime Minister Takeo Miki, Deputy Prime Minister Shin Kanemaru and Prime Minister Morihiro Hokosawa were either attacked or shot in 1975, 1992 and 1994, respectively. They all survived the attacks.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  30. Abe was probably viewed as divisive by the North Koreans and Chinese, but in terms of Japanese he won by comfortable margins and was the longest serving prime minister. How about lead with that!? Also, how accurate is it to describe him as arch-conservative versus just conservative or now with the “corrected” ultra-nationalist versus nationalist? It just seems like an editor who couldn’t resist injecting politics deceptively. But with everyone watching, did they think it wouldn’t be noticed? Think these things through….and be accurate….

    AJ_Liberty (c82e21)

  31. Rip,

    My memory of pre-WWII Japan was that assassinations were pretty commonplace — it was remarked upon constantly in US publications of the day. And looking at your article, there have been planty of post-war attacks too.

    If the person had written “assassination attempts are rare in the United States”, he would have been laughed out of his newsroom. Why he isn’t now is testament to his editor’s ignorance of history.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  32. Like most Japanese prime ministers, he visited the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors the Japanese war dead, including those convicted of war crimes. This is extremely controversial among the Japanese left and the countries conquered by Japan prior to 1941.

    The shrine lists the names, origins, birthdates, and places of death of 2,466,532 men, women, children, and various pet animals.[2] Among those are 1,068 convicted war criminals, 14 of whom are A-Class (convicted of having been involved in the planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of the war).

    While Prime Minister in 2014 Abe reshuffled his Cabinet…….

    Fifteen of the 19 members in the new cabinet belong to Nippon Kaigi, the “Japan Conference,” a nationalistic right-wing group that was all but unknown until recently.

    A U.S. Congressional report on Japan-U.S. relations from early this year mentioned Nippon Kaigi as one of several organizations to which Mr. Abe has ties that believe that “Japan should be applauded for liberating much of East Asia from Western colonial powers, that the 1946-1948 Tokyo War Crimes tribunals were illegitimate, and that the killings by Imperial Japanese troops during the 1937 ‘Nanjing massacre’ were exaggerated or fabricated.” This is standard fare in the noxious world of Japanese ultra-nationalism. So, too, are the goals of Nippon Kaigi.

    ……. According to Asahi Shimbun, the Nippon Kaigi Discussion Group of the Diet has 289 members, mostly conservatives from the Liberal Democratic Party (L.D.P.) — about 40 percent of the entire Parliament…….

    Source

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  33. My memory of pre-WWII Japan was that assassinations were pretty commonplace — it was remarked upon constantly in US publications of the day. And looking at your article, there have been planty of post-war attacks too.

    Sorry, I have no memory of pre-war Japan. But here is a (probably incomplete) list of assassinated Japanese politicians as far back as the 17th century. Most of the post-war assassination attempts were unsuccessful, per the article. The last successful PM assassination was in 1931:

    The last assassination of a Japanese prime minister took place in 1931, when 76-year-old Tsuyoshi Inukai was shot dead by eleven junior Navy officers in his Tokyo residence, paving the way for the military-imperial government that fought the catastrophic Second World War.

    Before the military asserted its control over the executive, assassinations of political leaders were relatively common.

    The first nation’s first prime minister, Hirobumi Ito, was shot by a Korean nationalist in 1909, followed by Takahashi Korekiyo, premier in 1921 and 1932, who was assassinated by the army in 1936 after cutting military spending. Takashi Hara, prime minister from 1918 to 1921, was stabbed to death by a right-wing extremist.

    Osachi Hamaguchi, PM from 1929 to 1931, was killed after an infection to a gunshot wound received from another right-wing extremist.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  34. @31: You have to say that assassination attempts are rare in Japan if you want to make a case for their gun control being so promising.

    The real reason that their gun control works so well is that there has never been private gun ownership. The monopoly on violence was long the province of the rich and powerful. Now it’s split between the government and the Yakuza (which understands the lines they cannot cross).

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  35. Rip —

    In the period 1960 to 1994, I count 5 assassination attempts against prime ministers and political leaders. Over that same period, we had 6 (JFK, RFK, MLK, 2 against Ford, Reagan).

    Since 1994, we had the congersional basesball game shooting and now Japan has this Abe shooting.

    I am making a point here, and it goes to the US tendency to view everything through the lens of our own political issues. Assassination in Japan since WWII has been no less common than assassination attempts here. But this article wants to make it seem uncommon compared to here. I suspect theres some Second Amendment propagandizing behind that.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  36. R.I.P. Larry Storch, 99.

    Weep AJ:

    ‘Who says I’m dumb?!

    God bless Randolph Agarn.

    DCSCA (7523c3)

  37. The potential for assassinations was why Japan kept on fighting the war. Japan needed a shock. (I think maybe that someone’s idea)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  38. Most of the U>S. Ambassadors to Japan in the last 0 or more years have been very prominent people (more prominent to Japan than at that time in the Unted States)

    Mike Mansfield, Walter Mondale, Howard Baker, Caroline Kennedy,

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  39. https://jimtreacher.substack.com/p/sounds-like-japan-needs-some-gun?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

    JVW,

    it looks like NPR got the memo and read from the same playbook.

    Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a divisive arch-conservative and one of his nation’s most powerful and influential figures, has died after being shot during a campaign speech Friday in Japan, hospital officials said.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  40. The first shot totally missed. Shinzo Abe reacted by turning his head to see what it was. The second shot hit two arteries and he probably bled to death.

    The homemade gun – known in the United States as azip gun or pipe gun, might only have been able to get off two shots – even one – without reloading.

    The man who killed him thought Abe was connected with some organization. They don’t want to say, (maybe more came out in the last few days) but it is apparently a religious cult to which his 73-year old mother (he’s 41) had contributed a great deal of money, impoverishing herself. There may have been accusations against Abe about that circulating on the Internet. (the police referred to rumors)

    The speech was one short train stop from a stop near his home.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)


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