Friday, December 02, 2022

Japan votes in key elections after Abe assassination

TOKYO ( Associated Press) – Japanese people went to the polls on Sunday in an election marred by the assassination of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was shot during a campaign speech. Abe’s ruling party looked set for a major victory.

As people voted, police in western Japan were taking the suspect to the local prosecutor’s office for further investigation. A day earlier, a high-ranking regional police officer admitted possible security lapses that allowed the assailant to approach and shoot the still influential former Japanese president.

Elections for the upper house, the least powerful in the Japanese bicameral system, began in a country that had not yet recovered from the shock, sadness and fear of the death of Abe, the first president, in office or not, assassinated in the aftermath. -Japan war.

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Abe’s funeral was supposed to take place in the next few days.

Abe was shot on Friday in Nara and taken by helicopter to a hospital, but bled to death. Police arrested a former member of the Japanese Navy at the scene. A homemade weapon was seized at the scene and others were later found in his apartment.

The alleged attacker, Tetsuya Yamagami, told investigators he had attacked Abe for his alleged connection to an organization he held a grudge against, according to police, but had no problem with the former president’s political stance. The man developed a distaste for a religious group his mother was obsessed with and which had ruined the family business, according to media reports. Some outlets identified the group as the Unification Church.

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The crime gave new symbolism to the elections and all political leaders stressed the importance of freedom of expression and promised not to give in to violence against democracy.

While media polls predicted a major victory for the ruling Liberal Democrats against a weak and fractured opposition, Abe’s assassination could garner more votes and give the party a bigger victory than its modest goal of a House majority.

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