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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is dead after being shot at a campaign event

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Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
  • Former Japanese Prime Minister died on Friday.
  • He was shot while giving a speech on the campaign trail ahead of this Sunday's upper house election.
  • Abe was Japan's longest-serving prime minister. 
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has died, NHK reported. He was 67.

Abe collapsed after being shot while giving a speech on Friday in Nara, a city 35 kilometers south of Kyoto. He was on the campaign trail ahead of this Sunday's upper house election. The former minister was shot twice from behind, officials from the Liberal Democratic Party, or LDP, said, as per Nikkei.

Abe was Japan's longest-serving prime minister. He served for a year from 2006 to 2007, and again for an eight-year term from 2012 to 2020, bucking the trend of a revolving door of five Japanese prime ministers serving from 2007 to 2012.

Abe resigned in 2020 due to ulcerative colitis — a chronic bowel condition. He also resigned abruptly in 2007, citing ill-health.

Born in 1954, Abe came from a prominent political family. His maternal grandfather was Nobusuke Kishi, who served as Japan's prime minister from 1957 to 1960. Abe's father Shintaro was the country's foreign minister from 1982 to 1986. His great-uncle Eisaku Sato was Japan's second-longest serving prime minister from 1964 to 1972.

During his time as prime minister, Abe was known for his "Abenomics" policies — a mix of hyper-easy monetary policy, fiscal stimulus, and structural reforms — that aimed to revitalise Japan's deflationary economy.

Abe also sought to boost Japan's international profile, playing golf with former US President Donald Trump and even appearing as Nintendo videogame character Mario during the Olympic handover in 2016.

Abe resigned before the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics took place in 2021. At the end of his tenure, he faced criticism for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and a series of scandals among his center-right LDP members.

Among Abe's most controversial moves was his push to amend Japan's post-World War Two pacifist constitution.

Even after stepping down, Abe remained influential in the ruling LDP, advocating for more defense spending and warning China against invading Taiwan.

Abe leaves behind his wife, Akie.


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