The body of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived at his home city, Tokyo, on Saturday, a day after he was fatally assassinated during a campaign speech in the western Japan city of Nara.
Shinzo’s wife, Akie Abe travelled from Nara with the former Japanese PM’s body to Tokyo, CNN reported citing Abe’s office. According to NHK World, the vehicle carrying Abe’s body arrived at his home in the Shibuya district around 1:30 pm (local time).
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also arrived at the home of the assassinated former PM.
Local media has reported that a night vigil will be held on Monday and his funeral will be held on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, police are continuing the interrogation of Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old resident of Nara City, in western Japan who was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of Abe.
Abe was shot dead at close range while giving a speech in broad daylight triggering anger and shock not just in Japan but around the world as the country has one of the world’s lowest rates of gun crime.
International leaders have expressed their sympathies with the family of Abe and have sent tributes expressing outrage and sadness over the killing.
As the investigation into the assassination continues, local media reports revealed that the man who was detained after Abe was shot served in the Japanese Navy for three years.
After the attack on him, Abe was rushed to hospital and initial media reports citing authorities said that it appeared that the former Japanese PM was shot at in the chest. They described his condition as in “cardiopulmonary arrest” and said he showed no vital signs.
Public broadcaster NHK later reported, citing ruling Liberal Democratic Party sources that Abe, had died. Abe died at 5:03 pm (local time) and had two gunshot wounds in his neck, according to officials from Nara Medical University Hospital.
A gun that appeared to be handmade was retrieved from the site where Abe was campaigning for a candidate ahead of Sunday’s elections for Japan’s upper house of Parliament.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, stepped down in 2020 citing health reasons. He was prime minister of Japan twice, from 2006-07 and again from 2012-20. He was succeeded by Yoshihide Suga and later by Fumio Kishida.
Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida earlier in his live address to the country yesterday said “this is not a forgivable act,” and that authorities would “take appropriate measures to handle the situation.” Kishida further said that the motive behind Abe’s shooting is not known.
The Japanese PM also requested everyone to not speculate about any political ramifications at the time.