41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami shot former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe twice during a campaign speech. He collapsed bleeding and was taken to the hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. Who is the man who killed Abe?
What do you know about the perpetrator? Yetsuma Tamagami was arrested by the police at the scene of the crime, as Japanese media reported shortly after the crime. The man is said to be an ex-member of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. By 2005, the 41-year-old was said to have served in the country’s navy for three years, as reported by NHK. The man is said to live in Nara.
What weapon did he use? Japan has one of the strictest gun laws in the world. Unlike in the USA, both the sale and the possession of weapons are strictly controlled in the island kingdom. Apart from soldiers and police officers, almost no one carries a handgun.
Tamagami is said not to have had a gun license either. If you want to get hold of a gun in Japan, you have to undergo a psychological examination, take a drug test and present a police clearance certificate. Also, the license must be renewed every three years through training courses.
Instead, he reportedly made a gun himself and fired two shots at Abe from behind. Two barrels glued together with black tape can be seen in the pictures.
What was the perpetrator’s motive? As the Japanese TV broadcaster NHK announced, Tamagami is said to have said after his arrest that he was “dissatisfied” with the ex-prime minister and wanted to kill him. According to other reports, he “holds no grudge against Abe’s political beliefs.”
Abe himself is considered controversial in Japan because he changed the country’s defensive orientation and strengthened the military. Now he seems to have fallen victim to a former member of the very armed forces he held so dear.
Were there no security precautions during the campaign speech? According to NHK, Abe had his security guards around him during his speech. How the perpetrator managed to get close to the ex-prime minister and fire two shots is currently unclear.
“The first shot sounded like it was shot from a toy,” NHK quoted a witness as saying. “The second was more visible, you could see sparks and smoke.”