July 8, 2022, 01.11 PM

Japan has some of the world’s toughest gun-control laws, and annual deaths from firearms in the country of 125 million people are regularly in single figures.

Getting a gun license is a long and complicated process even for Japanese citizens, who must first get a recommendation from a shooting association and then undergo strict police checks.

Japan has seen “nothing like this for well over 50 to 60 years,” Corey Wallace, an assistant professor at Kanagawa University who focuses on Japanese politics, told AFP.

He said the last similar incident was likely the 1960 assassination of Inejiro Asanuma, the leader of the Japan Socialist Party, who was stabbed by a right-wing youth.

“But two days before an election, of a (man) who is so prominent... it’s really profoundly sad and shocking.”

He noted, too, that Japanese politicians and voters are used to a personal and close-up style of campaigning.

“This could really change.”

Source: Agence France-Presse

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