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Former PM of Japan Shinzo Abe, was attacked during a campaign trail

Former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, architect of special relations with India, dies following a gun attack. Nikkei Asia is reporting citing its sources that Abe has passed away after being shot on Friday.

However, the assassination of  67-year old Abe is yet to be officially announced. The former Prime Minister was shot at about 11:30 a.m. while delivering a street speech in the western city of Nara ahead of Sunday's upper house election.

Abe was attacked during a campaign trail, while making a street speech.  He has been shifted by helicopter to hospital. Japan’s Upper House elections are scheduled for Sunday. Abe was scheduled to visit Nara, Kyoto and Saitama prefectures on Friday to campaign for Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidates.

Abe was rushed to a hospital in Nara Prefecture by helicopter, and was reportedly in cardiac arrest. The Nara Prefectural Police have arrested a 41-year-old man, a resident of the city, on suspicion of attempted murder.

Nikkei Asia is quoting officials from LDP that the former prime minister was attacked from behind.

In India, Abe is fondly remembered as the architect of Japan’s  deep strategic relations with  New Delhi, which he personally marshalled with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Abe is also credited of ideating the free and open Indo-Pacific concept, which he first aired during an address to Indian parliament. Abe has been  firm supporter of the Indo-Pacific Quad which includes apart from Japan, India, the United States and Australia.

Along with Modi, Abe detailed a vision document that would guide India-Japan relations to be a factor of stability in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. The 2015

Joint Statement following Abe’s visit to India is  titled: India and Japan Vision 2025: Special Strategic and Global Partnership Working Together for Peace and Prosperity of the Indo-Pacific Region and the World

In 2018, another India-Japan vision statement was inked during PM Modi’s visit to Japan. Nikkei Asia  is quoting a man at the scene near Nara's Yamato-Saidaiji railway station as saying that he heard two shots which sounded like gunfire. He also saw smoke in Abe's vicinity.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters that Abe's condition was unknown. He pointed out that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was also on the campaign  trail, was immediately informed,  and was set to return to Tokyo. "Under no circumstances will such barbarism be tolerated, and we condemn it unequivocally," Matsuno said.

Born in 1954, in a political family, Abe’s father, Shintaro Abe, was also a politician who served as foreign minister. Former Prime Minster Nobuyuki Kishi was his grandfather.

At the age of 52, Abe became Japan's youngest post-war prime minister in 2006.  Although he resigned the following year, he returned to power in 2012—the start of longest post-war tenure of a Japanese Prime Minister which lasted  2,822 straight days, till Abe relinquished charge due to ill health in 2020.

Abe has been known for reviving Japan as an independent power, based on new rules which are not constrained by Japan’s excessively pacifist constitution. He has also boldly articulated his concerns about the rise of China in the Indo-Pacific region.

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