April 17, 2007 / 1:05 PM / in 12 years

Japan city Nagasaki mayor dies after being shot

Police officers examine the area where the mayor of the Japanese city of Nagasaki, Itcho Ito, was shot, April 17, 2007. REUTERS/Kyodo

TOKYO (Reuters) - The mayor of the Japanese city of Nagasaki died early on Wednesday after being shot by a man police said was a member of a criminal syndicate, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Itcho Ito, 61, seeking re-election for a fourth term in Sunday’s election, was shot at least twice in the back by the man in front of his campaign office just before 8:00 p.m. (1100 GMT) on Tuesday, officials had said.

Japan has very strict gun control laws and illegal firearms are mostly in the hands of “yakuza” gangsters or registered hunters.

Nagasaki, on the southernmost main island of Kyushu, was the second city to suffer an atomic bombing by the United States on August 9, 1945.

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