Tokyo: The Japanese government has decided to award former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with the country's highest order posthumously.
Abe will receive the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, Japan's Kyodo News reported. The longest-serving PM of Japan will be the fourth former prime minister to receive the decoration under the postwar Constitution. Abe was attacked on Friday morning in the city of Nara during his campaign speech. Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, approached the politician from behind and fired two shots from a distance of about 10 meters (33 feet).
Police said Abe was conscious immediately after being wounded, but then, during transportation, his condition became critical "with cardiac and pulmonary arrest." Later in the day, Nara Medical University hospital pronounced him dead.
On Saturday, the head of police in Nara Prefecture, Kazuo Ohashi, said the potential security issues in the case of the assassination of Shinzo Abe cannot be denied. "There is no denying that there was a security issue there," the official said in a press conference.
According to Ohashi, the assassination was an act of "inexcusable barbarism," and it is necessary to investigate the case "in the most thorough way."
Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida earlier in his live address to the country yesterday said "this is not a forgivable act," and that authorities would "take appropriate measures to handle the situation."
Kishida further said that the motive behind Abe's shooting is not known. The Japanese PM also requested everyone to not speculate about any political ramifications at the time.
This news about the posthumous award to Abe comes after Japan's ruling party recorded a sweeping victory in Sunday's House of Councillors election, helping pro-constitutional amendment forces retain the two-thirds majority needed to push for revising the country's Constitution, an unaccomplished goal of former PM Abe.
Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Liberal Democratic Party got 63 seats or more than half of the 125 seats up for grabs.