Mayor of Nagasaki, Japan shot
The major of the Japanese city of Nagasaki was shot on Tuesday, while police have arrested one supsect in the case, according to a Reuters report (http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-04-17T140558Z_01_T369532_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-JAPAN-SHOOTING-COL.XML).
Mayor Itcho Ito, 61, was shot near a train station at 8:00 p.m. He was taken to a hospital after suffering two shots to the back. Ito is running for re-election in Sunday's election.
Nagasaki police arrested one suspect, Tetsuya Shiroo, 59, a member of a gang affiliated with Yamaguchi Gumi crime syndicate. He was arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of the mayor.
The motive is unclear, but Shiroo is said to have been critical of Ito and his bidding for public works projects.
According to an AP report, Ito did not appear responsive to efforts of resuscitation at the scene of the crime (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/20070417-0643-japan-mayorshooting.html).
He is currently in critical condition. In 1990, former Nagasaki Mayor Hitoshi Motoshima was shot and seriously wounded by "rightists" critical of Motoshima's efforts to place blame on World War II war crimes of Emperor Hirohito.
Ito is backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Gun violence in Japan is mostly conducted by organized crime, known as yakuza. Japan has very strict laws banning handguns.
I found it interesting that Reuters named the suspect while the AP story had not released his name. Otherwise both stories had the same information about the suspect, including his intention and organized crime affiliation. I also thought it was strange that both stories mentioned that Nagasaki was destroyed by an atomic bomb in WWII. This doesn't seem necessary. I think most readers have a general idea where Nagasaki is, and it's not a claim to fame that really adds to the context of the story at all. What I would have liked in both stories was a little more information about Japanese crime syndicates and how they operate. The AP story did a slightly better job describing Ito's background and the recent scandals he has been wrapped up in. They also gave a party affiliation that was important.