JAPAN: On Friday, former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was shot during a campaign event in the Nara region, local news media reported. He was bleeding from the neck, a source from his ruling Liberal Democratic Party told the Jiji news agency.
“Former PM Abe was shot at around 11.30 am in Nara. One man, believed to be the shooter, has been taken into custody. The condition of the former prime minister Abe is currently unknown,” chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.
“A local fire department says former prime minister Abe appears to be in a state of cardio-respiratory arrest ( term commonly used in Japan before a suspected death can be confirmed by the doctor),” public broadcaster NHK said.
National broadcasting news organization NHK reported that a man in his 40s had been arrested for attempted murder and assassination, and a gun had been confiscated from his person, citing police sources.
The US ambassador to japan, Rahm Emanuel, expressed sorrow at this unexpected horror, and said he was “saddened and shocked” by the shooting.
The former leader was delivering a stump speech at an event ahead of Sunday’s upper house elections when the gunshots were heard, NHK and Kyodo news agencies said. Abe, 67, is Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, serving a total of 9 years, one year in 2006 and from 2012 to 2020.