Fmr. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe assassinated during campaign speech, stunning video

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 67, was killed Friday after being shot with a “homemade” double-barrel shotgun during a campaign event, shocking a nation that boasts some of the strictest gun control laws on the planet.

“Photographs taken as the suspect was being apprehended show what looks like an improvised, or homemade, double-barrelled shotgun. Gun violence is very rare in Japan, and guns are extremely difficult to own,” the BBC has confirmed.

The shooting occurred around 11:30 am JST in the city of Nara, where Abe was reportedly delivering a speech on behalf of the nation’s ruling Liberal Democrat Party.

Following the shooting, Abe was transported to a nearby medical hospital, where he received over 100 units of blood transfusions over the course of four hours.

“Doctors tried to stop the bleeding and did a blood transfusion but could not resuscitate him. He died shortly after 5 p.m,” The New York Times reported.

Some bystanders captured parts of the shooting on camera.

Watch (*Graphic content):

The shooting is, as noted earlier, a complete shocker for a nation not accustomed to such acts of violence.

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

Only shotguns and air rifles are allowed to be sold in Japan. And even then, obtaining one is extraordinarily difficult.

“To qualify for a firearm license, potential buyers must attend an all-day class, pass a written test and a shooting-range test with an accuracy of at least 95%. They also must undergo a mental health evaluation and drug tests, as well as a rigorous background check — including a review of their criminal record, personal debt, involvement in organized crime and relationships with family and friends,” according to CNN.

“After obtaining a gun, the owner must register their weapon with police and provide details of where their gun and ammunition is stored, in separate, locked compartments. The gun must be inspected by the police once a year, and gun owners must retake the class and sit an exam every three years to renew their license. The restrictions have kept the number of private gun owners in Japan extremely low.”

While it’s true Japan suffers from less crime, it also boasts far less liberty and individualism, and that is no coincidence, according to a study published by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) back in 1992.

“Pressure to conform and internalized willingness to do so are much stronger in Japan than in America. The spirit of conformity provides the best explanation for Japan’s low crime rate. It also explains why the Japanese people accept strict gun control,” the study notes.

“A gun ban in America similar to that in Japan would be alien to our society, which for over 300 years has had the world’s strongest gun culture. Japan’s gun laws are part of an authoritarian philosophy of government that is fundamentally at odds with America’s traditions of liberty.”

As for Abe, he was a nationalist who served as prime minister from 2006 to 2007, at which point he resigned over some scandals, and then served again from 2012 to 2020.

During his tenure in office, Abe pursued “a conservative agenda of restoring the country’s economy, military and national pride,” according to the Times.

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