The former prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe was shot dead whilst giving a speech in the city of Nara earlier this morning.
A 41-year-old man was arrested by Japan’s security services at the scene of the murder, where Abe was delivering a speech.
Video footage at the time shows gunshots being fired and the suspect apprehended with what appears to be a home-made gun.
According to local reports, several possible explosive devices have since been recovered from the suspect’s home, who is said to be a former member of Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force.
Sri Lanka’s leaders, including the war crimes accused president Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, tweeted their tributes to Abe.
Abe became the first Japanese prime minister to visit Sri Lanka in 24 years, when he arrived on the island in 2014.
I am devastated and deeply saddened to hear of the sudden demise of the fmr PM of #Japan Shinzo Abe. He was a true friend of #SriLanka, particularly during the post war development period. My deepest condolences to his family & the people of Japan at this extremely difficult time pic.twitter.com/bhhjQQ1CZp
— Mahinda Rajapaksa (@PresRajapaksa) July 8, 2022
Deeply saddened by the tragic death of former #Japan PM Shinzo Abe. Japan has lost a highly respected politician. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family, the LDP & to the people of Japan. pic.twitter.com/wbUe5n1RFq
— Gotabaya Rajapaksa (@GotabayaR) July 8, 2022