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'Shocked and saddened': The world responds to the assassination of Shinzo Abe, Japan's former PM.

Japan's longest-serving premier, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was fatally shot from behind while giving a campaign speech in the city of Nara on Friday.

The shooting suspect was arrested by police, and confessed to shooting Abe. 

Here's what you need to know. 

Watch: Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was fatally shot while campaigning. Post continues below.


Video via ABC.

What exactly happened?

Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was fatally shot while campaigning in the city of Nara at 11.30am local time, and was pronounced dead at 5.03 pm.

Shots were heard and a white puff of smoke was seen as Abe - who was still a force in Japanese politics - made a stump speech for a Sunday upper house election outside a train station in the western city, some 480 kilometres from the capital Tokyo, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.

An NHK reporter on the scene said they heard two consecutive bangs during Abe's speech.

Police then arrested a male suspect at the scene who confessed to the shooting.

The gunman has been identified as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, who is unemployed, and a former member of the Japanese navy.

He told police he held a grudge against a 'certain group', and used a homemade gun to shoot Abe in the left side of his chest and neck, as he believed he had ties to it.

Tributes have been left for the former PM across Japan. Image: Getty.

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What is former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's legacy in Japan?

Abe was a conservative Japanese leader who came from a family of politicians.

He was elected to Japan's parliament in 1993, and became the youngest post-war leader to Japan in 2006, at 52 years old. He resigned a year later due to health issues, but was re-elected again in 2012.

Abe was an economics focused leader who led the bid for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, aiming to revive Japan's struggling economy.

He resigned as prime minister in August 2020, again citing illness as the cause.

"I have decided that I will step down as prime minister, with the belief that I cannot continue being prime minister if I do not have the confidence that I can carry out the job entrusted to me by the people," Abe told a news conference at the time.

How has the world has reacted to the assassination?

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

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Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

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Former US President Barack Obama

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson 

Former US President Donald Trump

Trump shared a statement to his proprietary platform Truth Social, writing:

"Really BAD NEWS FOR THE WORLD! Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is dead. He was assassinated. His killer was captured and will hopefully be dealt with swiftly and harshly.

"Few people know what a great man and leader Shinzo Abe was, but history will teach them and be kind," Trump lamented. "He was a unifier like no other, but above all, he was a man who loved and cherished his magnificent country, Japan. Shinzo Abe will be greatly missed. There will never be another like him!"

Queen Elizabeth II

In a statement released on Twitter, Queen Elizabeth said:

"My family and I were deeply saddened to hear the news of the sudden and tragic death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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"I wish to convey my deepest sympathy and condolences to his family and to the people of Japan at this difficult time."

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi declared a national day of mourning for India following the death of Shinzo, writing: "As a mark of our deepest respect for former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, a one-day national mourning shall be observed on 9 July 2022."

"I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe. He was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place," he wrote on Twitter

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.