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Japanese stocks gave up most of their gains after news that ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot and in critical condition.
Japanese stocks relapsed on previous gains following news that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was gunned down. The yen surged as reports stated that Abe was in critical condition after the attack at a campaign event in Nara, Japan, on July 8th at 11:30 am local time (10:30 pm Thursday ET).
Abe eventually succumbed to his injuries as of press time.
How Japanese, Other Asia-Pacific Stocks Fared in Wake of Shinzo Abe Shooting
Prior to news of Abe’s shooting, the Nikkei 225 and the Topix were up more than 1% during the trading session. However, following the report, the Nikkei 225 closed just 0.1% higher at 26,517.19, while the Topix dropped to a 0.27% increase.
Conversely, the yen rose to trade at 135.84 per dollar after trading as high as 135.9 per dollar earlier in the day.
In other parts of the Asia-Pacific, there were advances in neighboring Korea as well as Australia. For instance, the South Korean Kospi gained 0.7% to 2,350.61, with the Kosdaq trading 1.12% higher at 766.48. Furthermore, the Australian S&P/ASX 200 added 0.45% to close at 6,678. Meanwhile, there were varying results in the Greater China region, with the Hong Kong Hang Seng index gaining 0.12% during final trading hours. However, the markets in Mainland China traded lower to close. For instance, the Shanghai Composite gave up 0.25% to close at 3,356.08, with the Shenzhen Component losing 0.61% to 12,857.13.
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Details of Abe Shooting
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, was shot while making a speech at a campaign event near a train station. The shooting sent shockwaves across a country where gun violence is extremely rare due to strict ownership laws.
As of press time, reports stated that Abe was suffering cardio and pulmonary arrest, and was fighting for his life. Furthermore, these reports also suggested that the ex-Japanese prime minister’s heart had stopped. The alleged shooter, 41-year-old Yamagami Tetsuya, reportedly shot Abe from behind.
Incumbent Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida strongly condemned Abe’s shooting, describing it as “despicable and barbaric”. In addition, the country’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi also called the shooting an “attack on democracy”. Furthermore, Kishi, who happens to be Abe’s younger brother, also provided information on measures currently undertaken to save the ex-PM’s life. According to him, doctors had deployed every effort to provide life-saving treatment, including blood transfusions.
According to reports, Abe received treatment at the Nara Medical University Hospital before passing. Reports also state that he was initially conscious in the first few minutes of the attack. Law enforcement has already arrested Yamagami Tetsuya in connection to the shooting.
Abe served as Japanese Prime Minister and President of the Liberal Democratic Party from 2006 to 2007. This was a role he also served in again between 2012 and 2020. Abe had been campaigning for other members of the governing conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) when the attack happened. He was 67 years old.