Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister of Japan, has died after being shot on Friday (8 July), while he was delivering a campaign speech in Nara Prefecture.
The police have arrested a suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, in his 40s on a charge of attempted murder. The suspect had used self made ‘gun-like equipment’, which was retrieved at the scene, a police spokesman said.
Japan has extremely stringent gun laws. Political assassinations are rare in Japan.
Abe's grandfather, former prime minister Kishi Nobusuke, survived an assassination attempt in 1960.
Leaders around the world are expressing shock at the news.
However, the scene in Chinese social media sites was different. Several users were rejoicing over the news.
Chinese nationalists on Weibo have began to celebrate that Japanâs ex PM Abe is shot during campaign today.— å·´ä¸¢è Badiucao (@badiucao) July 8, 2022
they call the attacker âheroâ and send death wish to Abe
photo credit @MachineGun____ #TheGreatTranslationMovement #å¤§ç¿»è¯è¿å¨ pic.twitter.com/K4cxtQd0pi
According to Badiucao, a Chinese political cartoonist, artist and rights activist based in Australia, many users called the attacker a "hero" and sent death wishes to Abe.
People wrote messages such as "congrats from the people of Shanxi, eat an extra bowl of rice today".
Others wrote "who is the attacker? I want to donate money".
"I have to say it is great news. Waiting for Abe's death," wrote others.
"Party time. Great news. Hope the gun was fine," wrote another.
Chinese users posted memes on Weibo to mock Abe's assassination.
Posts like "let's open champagne" were common.
Hashtag #安倍无生命体征” Abe has no life sign went viral in China with a lot of users cheering for death.
Meanwhile, social media users in India expressed shock at the news and prayed for his recovery.
Other social media users around the world expressed shock at the news as well.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman stated that Beijing was "shocked" to hear about the news.
“We are monitoring the situation and hope that former Prime Minister Abe recovers as soon as possible,” he said. “Of course we offer our condolences to his family," the spokesperson said.
Some Chinese nationals stated that posts on Weibo should not be seen as a representation of the views of majority of Chinese people and added that most people in the country have expressed shock and sadness after hearing the news. However, many social media users criticised them for taking a more moderate view, asking, "Why did he (Abe) deny Japanese war crimes?"
In what looked like a damage control exercise, former Global Times editor Hu Xijn, who was recently sacked unceremoniously, said on Twitter that most Chinese social media users were not celebrating the assassination attempt.
"I feel sympathy for Abe. I publicly expressed my sympathy in a post today on Chinese social media Weibo. The post garnered 86,000 likes in just over an hour and is one of the hottest posts about Abe's incident on the Chinese social media," his post read.
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