Shinzo Abe shot: former prime minister of Japan dies after being shot at campaign event
Japan’s current prime minister Fumio Kishida called the attack “dastardly and barbaric”
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Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe has died after being shot at a campaign event, the country’s national broadcaster has reported.
The 67-year-old was shot in the western city of Nara while making a campaign speech ahead of Sunday’s election for the parliament’s upper house.
Japan’s current prime minister Fumio Kishida called the attack “dastardly and barbaric”.
What happened to Shinzo Abe?
Two gunshots were apparently heard with Mr Abe reportedly shot from behind.
Footage aired on NHK showed the former prime minister collapsed in the street, with security guards running toward him.
Witnesses said he was bleeding and holding his chest. He was later rushed to hospital.
Police arrested a male suspect at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder, NHK said.
The suspect reportedly told police that he was unhappy with Mr Abe and intended to kill him.
Reaction to the shooting of Shinzo Abe
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters: “A barbaric act like this is absolutely unforgivable, no matter what the reasons are, and we condemn it strongly.”
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted: "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."
US ambassador Rahm Emanuel said: "The US government and American people are praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, and the people of Japan."
Shinzo Abe’s political background
Mr Abe became Japan’s longest-serving prime minister after serving two terms.
He stepped down from the role in 2020 due to health issues.
However, he has remained a significant presence in Japanese politics, controlling one of the major factions in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.