The shadow minister for home affairs has made a grim prediction about the possibility of an assassination attempt on our own soil after the shocking death of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
The 67-year-old ex-leader was gunned down in the western city of Nara on Friday while campaigning for a parliamentary election, stunning a country where political violence is almost unthinkable.
In the wake of the assassination, Karen Andrews has warned that it is "just a matter of time" before such an attack occur in Australia.
Ms Andrews told Channel Nine’s Today that the deaths of Mr Abe and British politician David Amess have raised concerns about the security of members of Parliament.
She said the government discussed the issue after Mr Amess was fatally stabbed last year, but need to revisit it again.
"These are really good questions that should go to the commissioner of the Australian Federal Police. That’s the organisation, the agency that is responsible for keeping members of Parliament and Senators safe," she told Today.
"So I think we need to revisit that because quite frankly — and I hate to say this — it is but a matter of time until we experience such an assassination attempt in Australia."
Ms Andrews added that the loss of Australia’s “close friend” Mr Abe is "very, very devastating" for the country and Japan.
Abe's alleged shooter named by media
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese shared the same sentiments while paying tribute to Japan’s former leader on Friday.
"Mr Abe was one of Australia's closest friends on the world stage," he said in a statement.
"It was his vision that helped elevate our bilateral relationship to a Special Strategic Partnership in 2014. Under his leadership Japan emerged as one of Australia's most like-minded partners in Asia - a legacy that endures today.
"Just a few days after being sworn in as prime minister, I had the privilege of travelling to Japan for the Quad meeting. In many ways, this grouping is a legacy of Mr Abe's diplomatic activism."
Mr Abe was pronounced dead about five and a half hours after the shooting.
He had received more than 100 units of blood in transfusions over four hours, Hidetada Fukushima, the professor in charge of emergency medicine at Nara Medical University Hospital, told a televised news conference.
Police have arrested a 41-year-old man and said the weapon allegedly used in the assassination was a homemade gun.
Nara police said the alleged shooter, identified in the media as Tetsuya Yamagami, was a local resident and had worked at Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Forces for three years but now appeared to be unemployed.
with AAP and Reuters
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