Moscow: The recent attack on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is “act of terrorism,” which cannot be justified, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.
“We are convinced that those who have planned and committed this heinous crime will be punished with appropriate penalties for this act of terrorism, which has no and cannot have any justification,” Zakharova said in a statement published on the official website of the Russian foreign ministry.
Zakharova added that Moscow was stunned by the tragedy and expressed the hope that Japanese doctors would do everything possible to save Abe’s life.
“We sincerely wish S. Abe a speedy stabilization of his condition and recovery, and to his wife Akie Abe, relatives and friends to maintain the strength of spirit and not lose hope,” the statement read.
Zakharova also described Abe as an outstanding politician who had greatly contributed to the development of the Russian-Japanese relations.
“We know Abe as an outstanding politician who made an invaluable contribution to the development of the Russian-Japanese relations in all areas on the path of building mutual trust and good neighborliness,” she noted.
Abe was attacked around 11:30 local time (02:30 GMT) in the Japanese city of Nara during his street speech. The attacker, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, approached the politician from behind and fired two shots from a distance of about 10 meters. After the second shot, Abe fell. During the attack, he received a gunshot wound to the right side of the neck. Police said Abe was conscious immediately after being wounded, but then, during transportation, his condition became critical “with cardiac and pulmonary arrest.” Abe died at the Nara Medical University hospital.
Yamagami, 41, was detained at the scene. According to Nippon Television, Yamagami served in the country’s maritime self-defense forces for three years until 2005. His current occupation is yet to be established. According to media reports, Yamagami said during his testimony that he was “dissatisfied” with Abe and “wanted to kill him.”