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Friday, July 8, 2022

Japanese former PM assassinated

Way back in 1991, nearer home, the gruesome assassination took place .. .. and today 8th July 2022 has shattered global peace again ! – a sad day!

The Nara period of the history of Japan covers the years from CE 710 to 794. Empress Genmei established the capital of Heijō-kyō (present-day Nara). Except for a five-year period (740–745), when the capital was briefly moved again, it remained the capital of Japanese civilization until Emperor Kanmu established a new capital, Nagaoka-kyō, in 784, before moving to Heian-kyō, modern Kyoto, a decade later in 794. Japanese society during this period was predominantly agricultural and centered on village life. Most of the villagers followed Shintō, a religion based on the worship of natural and ancestral spirits named kami.  Nara, in news today, for wrong reasons, is the capital city of Nara Prefecture, Japan.  Nara is a core city located in the northern part of Nara Prefecture bordering the Kyoto Prefecture. Nara is home to eight temples, shrines, and ruins,   collectively forming  the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kei Satō is a Japanese politician who has served as a member of the House of Councillors since 2016, representing Nara Prefecture.  This day, former prime minister Shinzo Abe gave a speech in Nara for Satō's reelection campaign. Abe was then shot and killed by an assailant.

Shinzo Abe (1954 to 2022) was a Japanese politician who served as prime minister of Japan and President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020. He is the longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history. Abe also served as Chief Cabinet Secretary from 2005 to 2006 under Junichiro Koizumi and was briefly leader of the opposition in 2012. Abe was elected to the House of Representatives in the 1993 election. He was appointed Chief Cabinet Secretary by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in September 2005, before replacing him as prime minister and LDP president in September 2006.   Abe resigned as prime minister just after one year in office, because of medical complications from ulcerative colitis, shortly after his party lost that year's House of Councillors election.  

After recovering from his illness, Abe staged an unexpected political comeback, defeating Shigeru Ishiba, the former defense minister, in a ballot to become LDP president for the second time in September 2012. Following the LDP's landslide victory in the general election that December, he became the first former prime minister to return to the office since Shigeru Yoshida in 1948. He led the LDP to two further landslides in the 2014 and 2017 elections, becoming Japan's longest-serving prime minister. In August 2020, Abe announced his second resignation as prime minister, citing a significant resurgence of his ulcerative colitis.   Abe was a conservative whom political commentators widely described as a right-wing Japanese nationalist.

Sadly, today - Abe was assassinated at around 11:30 am JST while delivering a campaign speech in Nara two days before the House of Councilors election. He was reportedly in cardiopulmonary arrest and showed no vital signs immediately after the shooting.  The Metropolitan Police arrested the alleged shooter, 41 year-old Yamagami Tetsuya, for murder. Abe after being taken to hospital, succumbed to his wounds in the afternoon at Nara Medical University.

Abe is the sixth former Japanese prime minister to be assassinated.  The murderous shots left him critically wounded, showing no vital signs and was in cardiopulmonary arrest. Japanese state media reported about five hours later that he had died in the hospital.  On this ill-fated day, Abe was making a speech on behalf of Councillor Kei Satō, a Liberal Democratic Party candidate running for re-election, ahead of upcoming upper house elections scheduled on Sunday, 10 July. Abe was shot twice from behind with an improvised double-barreled shotgun and collapsed. Abe was initially conscious and communicative right after he was shot. He was transported to a local hospital by an emergency helicopter with a chest wound and was reported to have no vital signs when he arrived at Nara Medical University Hospital in Kashihara.

Tetsuya Yamagami,  a 41-year-old man from Nara City and a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force from 2002 to 2005, was arrested by Nara Prefectural Police on suspicion of attempted murder and was transferred to the Nara West Police Station.  Yamagami reportedly told investigators that "he was dissatisfied with the former prime minister and intended to kill him." Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was in Yamagata Prefecture for the election campaign, cancelled his remaining schedule in order to return to Tokyo.

Abe was a good friend of India.  .. .. Killings can never be justified and hopefully the killers are brought to book, given the harsh punishment. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th July 2022.

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