Here's hoping this doesn't kick off copycat attempts in the U.S., as these tragedies so often do. Via the Washington Post:
TOKYO — Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a towering political figure at home and abroad, died after being shot at a campaign event Friday, doctors said, shocking a nation where firearms laws are among the world’s strictest and gun violence is rare.
Abe, 67, was stumping for a fellow politician from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Nara, near Osaka, on Friday morning when a gunman opened fire with what police described as an improvised weapon.
Hidetada Fukushima, head of the emergency center at the Nara Medical University Hospital, said Abe had no vital signs when he arrived there at 12:20 p.m. Friday. Doctors found two gunshot wounds to the neck, and one of the bullets had reached the heart, Fukushima said. Despite efforts to save him, including a transfusion, Abe died of blood loss less than five hours later.
I knew Japan had strict gun laws, but I didn't know just how rare shootings are:
Firearms are strictly regulated in Japan, and gun violence is most often associated with the yakuza, the Japanese criminal network. Last year, eight of the 10 shootings in Japan were related to the yakuza, according to the National Police Agency, resulting in one death and four injuries.
Anyone trying to obtain a gun in Japan needs to apply for a permit, attend a class on gun safety and laws, and pass a written test. There is a full-day training course on safe shooting and practicing techniques. There are multiple rounds of checks and verification on the gun owner’s background and health, including information about their family, mental health, personal debt, and criminal record. The gun must be registered with and inspected by police.