Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, was assassinated at a campaign address in Nara on Friday. Abe, 67, was making an election campaign address on a street in Nara at 11:30 a.m. when he was assaulted from behind by an unidentified guy with a shotgun. A gunshot hit him in the chest. Despite Japan’s tight gun restrictions, there have been multiple gun assaults against significant persons, including politicians, in recent years.
Here is a timeline of various gun assaults against significant persons in Japan, including politicians:
– In 1990, then-Nagasaki City Mayor Motoshima Hitoshi was critically injured after being shot by a member of a right-wing organisation after delivering a speech.
– In 1992, a right-wing shooter opened fire on the Liberal Democratic Party’s then-vice president Kanemaru Shin as he finished a speech in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo. Kanemaru was not hurt.
– In 1994, another former prime minister, Hosokawa Morihiro, was attacked in a Tokyo hotel by a former member of a right-wing organisation. Hosokawa was unhurt.
– In 1995, Kunimatsu Takaji, then-Commissioner General of the National Police Agency, was assassinated. In 1995, he was critically hurt in front of his Tokyo home.
– In 2007, Nagasaki Mayor Ito Itcho was assassinated by a member of an organised crime ring.
JAPAN GUN LAWS
Japan has the most strict firearms prohibitions. Nobody can retain lethal weapons in Japan except the police and military. A civilian cannot purchase a pistol or a rifle. Only air rifles are permitted. That, too, for a certain reason. To purchase a gun, a person must pass a shooting test with 95% accuracy, as well as a written exam and a mental health evaluation in a hospital. A firearms licence can be issued only once all clearances have been completed. Before a citizen is permitted to own a firearm, strict background checks are performed. This involves interacting with the applicant’s family, friends, and relatives to examine the applicant’s antecedents, and the licence is only valid for three years.