The last time a current or former Japanese prime minister was shot and killed was 90 years ago. It’s a measure of just how rare and shocking gun violence is in the country, where ownership of firearms is strictly controlled.
The blast that felled Shinzo Abe on Friday -- with a homemade shotgun, according to reports -- happened while he was campaigning on behalf of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Nara, a city east of Osaka. Abe was giving a speech in front of a train station ahead of this weekend’s Upper House elections. The former leader was taken to a local hospital and later pronounced dead. He was 67.