Japan Votes For Upper House Under Shadow Of Ex-PM Abe’s Assassination

New Delhi: The voting is underway in Japan on Sunday to choose Upper House representatives after the former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated during a campaign trail, reported news agency AFP. The election held for half of the upper house every three years is also expected to determine if Prime Minister Fumio Kishida can secure the mandate required to push forward with his agenda in the coming years.

Kishida and other politicians also clarified that the shock killing would not impact the democratic process. “We must never allow violence to suppress speech during elections, which are the foundation of democracy,” Kishida said on Saturday during his campaign across the country.

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The PM also offered condolences to Abe’s family at their home in Tokyo, where the former premier’s body arrived from a hospital in western Japan.

The assassination of the longest-serving Japanese PM on Friday morning sent shockwaves around the world particularly given the nation’s low levels of violence and strict gun laws. The sudden killing triggered reactions even from nations with which Abe had sometimes difficult relations, like China and South Korea.

The suspect, who is 41-year-old named Tetsuya Yamagami, is in custody and told investigators that he attacked Abe because he believed the politician was linked to an unnamed organisation.

Local media have described the organisation as religious which Yamagami said is responsible for his family’s financial trouble as a result of his mother’s donations to the group.

Abe had been campaigning in the western region of Nara for a candidate from his ruling LDP when Yamagami opened fire, and local police there on Saturday admitted “problems” with the security plan for the high-profile figure.