In this image from a video, Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a campaign speech in Nara, western Japan shortly before he was shot Friday, July 8, 2022. (AP Photo)
Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving Japanese PM, was shot dead during a campaign speech in Japan’s Nara on Friday. 67-year-old Abe was delivering an election campaign speech on a street in Nara around 11:30 am when he was attacked from behind by an unidentified man with a shotgun. He was struck by a bullet in the chest.
Despite having strict gun laws, there have been several gun attacks on key figures, which includes politicians, in Japan in the past several years.
Here’s a timeline of several gun attacks on key figures, including politicians, in Japan:
– In 1990, then-Nagasaki City Mayor Motoshima Hitoshi was seriously injured after being shot by a man from a right-wing group after he delivered a lecture.
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– In 1992, a right-wing gunman fired shots at the Liberal Democratic Party’s then-vice president Kanemaru Shin, while he was finishing a speech in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo. Kanemaru was uninjured.
– In 1994, another former prime minister, Hosokawa Morihiro, was shot in a Tokyo hotel by a former member of a right-wing group. Hosokawa was unharmed.
– 1995- The National Police Agency’s then-Commissioner General Kunimatsu Takaji was shot. He was seriously injured in front of his residence in Tokyo in 1995.
– In 2007- Nagasaki mayor, Ito Itcho, died after being shot down by a member of an organised crime group.
GUN LAWS IN JAPAN
Japan has the most stringent gun laws. Other than the police and military, nobody can keep lethal arms in Japan. Civilians cannot buy a handgun or a rifle. Only air guns are allowed. That too for a specific purpose.
To buy a gun, a person must achieve 95 per cent accuracy in a shooting test, also clear a written test and go through a mental health assessment at a hospital. Only after all clearances can a gun license be given.
Strict background checks are done before a civilian is allowed a weapon. This includes speaking to family, friends and relatives of the applicant to check the antecedents and the license is valid only for three years.
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