As we reported, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 67, was shot in the back during a campaign speech in Nara, Japan ahead of the upcoming upper house elections. He was later pronounced dead in hospital. The shooter did not flee and was captured on the spot. He has been identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, a local man in his 40s, who appears to have assassinated the former prime minister with what appears to be a homemade weapon.
It was the weapon used by assassin Tetsuya Yamagami (山上徹也), who shot ex-Prime Minister Shizo Abe during his speech in Nara City. #shooting #Japan #NaraCity #PMAbe #Shinzo Abe pic.twitter.com/L550ooN6V9
— MeGoogle (@MeGoogleB) July 8, 2022
The shooting took place around 11:30 a.m. local time in Nara, 10:30 p.m. East Coast in Washington, D.C.
As we noted, the reaction around the world was shocked at the cowardly attack on Abe, who was such an important world leader for so many years.
Many world leaders have weighed in. Among the former was former President Donald Trump, who acknowledged what a true friend Abe was to America.
“Absolutely devastating news that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, a truly great man and leader, has been shot and is in very serious condition,” Trump said on Truth Social.
“He was a true friend of mine and, more importantly, America. This is a blow to the wonderful people of Japan, who loved and admired him so much. We are all praying for Shinzo and his beautiful family!
Abe was one of the first world leaders to recognize Trump after his election.
Mike Pence called Abe a “remarkable leader” and “steadfast ally”.
Leaders from around the world, from Poland to India, expressed their support for Japan and Abe’s family and spoke of Abe’s importance. Even Boris Johnson – who has just announced he will step down – has given enough thought to weigh in and send his support.
Totally appalled and saddened to learn of the despicable attack on Shinzo Abe.
My thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.
—Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 8, 2022
US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel made a statement.
We are all saddened and shocked by the assassination of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Abe-san was an outstanding leader of Japan and a staunch ally of the United States. The United States government and the American people pray for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, and the people of Japan.
— United States Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel (@USAmbJapan) July 8, 2022
However, it took nearly eight hours after the shooting to get any response from the White House. Finally, we received a comment from an anonymous spokesperson.
The White House is “shocked and saddened to learn of the violent attack on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,” a White House spokesperson told Les actualites https://t.co/l3DtAqwFl7
– The news (@The news) July 8, 2022
It’s embarrassing and shameful, especially given the gravity of the event, Abe’s importance on the world stage, and the important ally he and Japan have been for the United States. They are one of our best allies on the world stage. We should stand with Japan and convey our support from above. But hours later, after 8 a.m. in Washington, DC now, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris still hadn’t weighed in – missing in action for the 10:30 a.m. call.
I expect they will eventually, but it’s so wrong and it sends a very bad message to Japan and the world.