Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lies on the ground after shots were fired at him in Nara city yesterday. (Right) Police arrested a 41-year-old man who was a former member of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in connection with the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
(Photo via Twitter)
JAPAN: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died on Friday after being shot by a 41-year-old man during an election speech. Abe, Japan’s longest-serving leader, was admitted to hospital in grave condition after being shot while campaigning for a Parliamentary Election in Nara, Western Japan.
Earlier, in a press conference, Japanese PM Fumio Kishida confirmed Abe’s condition and said doctors were working hard to save him.
Abe was shot from behind minutes after he started his speech. He was airlifted to a hospital for emergency treatment but was not breathing and his heart had stopped. He was pronounced dead later at the hospital.
The 67-year-old Abe was Japan’s longest-serving leader before stepping down for health reasons in 2020. Abe was shot at while campaigning in Nara, western Japan. The suspect was arrested on the spot.
Japan Times reported that 67-year-old Abe was delivering an election campaign speech on a street in Nara around 11.30 am when he was attacked from behind by an unidentified man with a shotgun. He was struck by a bullet in the chest.
Local fire department officials said Abe was bleeding after being shot and went into cardiac arrest. He was rushed to a prefectural hospital but was showing no vital signs, reported news channel NHK.
The suspect, a 41-year-old man dressed in a grey T-shirt, was overpowered by security personnel at the scene and taken into custody. Police also retrieved a gun from where Abe was shot at. The suspect was later identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, a resident of Nara.
Global leaders have expressed shock and concern over the news of the attack on Abe.
Former US President Donald Trump also expressed shock on the news. “Shooting of former PM Abe is absolutely devastating. Praying for him,” he said on social media.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that he is “deeply distressed” over the attack on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and conveyed his prayers to his family.
Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese expressed shock at the news. “Shocking news from Japan that former PM Shinzo Abe has been shot – our thoughts are with his family and the people of Japan at this time,” he tweeted.
EU Chief Michel ‘shocked and saddened by cowardly attack’ on former Japan PM Abe.
Boris Johnson was ‘appalled and saddened’ by ‘despicable’ attack on former Japan PM Abe.