Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — one of the most consequential leaders in Japan’s postwar history — died Friday after being shot while he was giving a stump speech in the city of Nara. He was 67 years old.

As Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, the assassination of Abe just two days before the Upper House election has shaken the nation, with politicians of all stripes condemning the attack as an affront to democracy.

“I’m deeply saddened and lost for words,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said with red, swollen eyes following the news of Abe’s death. “We lost a great leader who loved the nation, looked to the future and made great achievements in various fields for the future of this country.”