Reported in the News Letter on May 16, 1932: Japanese PM shot to death by youths in military uniform

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Mr Tsuyoshi Inukai, the 77-year-old Conservative Prime Minister of Japan, was assassinated at the official Premier’s residence in Tokio yesterday afternoon by a determined band of nine youth in naval and military uniforms, who shot their way into his room.

Almost simultaneously there were five bomb outrages at important official buildings in the Japanese capital, and eight persons were wounded. In each case the terrorists were wearing uniforms.

The nine young men, believed to be cadets, were dared by the veteran Premier, who stood his ground, to shoot, and all nine fired at him.

The co-ordinated outrages would appear to herald an outbreak of organised Fascist terrorism in Japan.

The attack on the Premier occurred at 5.30pm. How the aged Premier courageously faced his assailants and dared them to shoot, was told last night by his daughter-in-law, who was present when they burst in.

Hearing the sounds of a struggle as they made their way into the private living quarters, she says she begged her father-in-law to seek refuge in flight. But the old veteran refused. Instead he opened the door leading into the drawing room – the gunmen had already forced their way into it, brandishing their revolvers.

Drawing himself to his full height in the far corner of the room, the Premier upbraided the youths, and told them to shoot if they dared. The answer was a volley from the nine revolvers. Mr Inukai collapsed with blood streaming from his face. He was hit in the temple and nose.

Four police and a manservant pluckily tried to bar the way, but all were shot down, though not killed. A visitor at the house pluckily went to Mr Inukai’s assistance, but was also shot and wounded.