The suspect was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder at the scene in Gifu prefecture in central Japan, police said. The suspect fired a rifle at the soldiers during a shooting drill at the Hino Kihon firing range, police said. The Ground Self Defence Force, Japan’s army, confirmed that two of those wounded were later pronounced dead at a hospital. Army chief of staff Gen Yasunori Morishita said the suspect joined the military in April. Morishita said he has ordered a temporary suspension of shooting exercises across the country while the army probes the incident.
Japan has strict gun control laws, but has seen high-profile violence in recent past, PM Fumio Kishida was almost hit by a pipe bomb. Ex-PM Abe was assassinated in 2022 by an attacker using a handmade gun.