Shinzo Abe, former Japanese PM, shows no vital signs after being shot: report


Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead in Nara on Friday while campaigning for the upcoming election, a source said. Reuters report quoting government spokesman. The 67-year-old former world leader shows no vital signs after being rushed to hospital, the news agency said. AFP citing Japanese media.

A 41-year-old man, Tetsuya Yamagami, believed to be a resident of Nara city, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder for shooting Shinzo Abe, Japanese news outlet NHK reported citing law enforcement sources. He added that Abe was likely hit from behind by shotgun fire.

“Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo collapsed during a speech in the western Japanese city of Nara. Initial reports indicate he may have been injured. An NHK reporter at the scene heard something that sounded like a gunshot and saw Abe bleeding,” the agency said in an alert.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, speaking to the media on Friday morning, said he was unaware of Abe’s current condition. “Such an act of barbarism cannot be tolerated,” he said. Meanwhile, Nara City Fire Department said Abe was in cardiorespiratory arrest before being taken to hospital.

How it turned out

The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m. IST). Abe was giving a campaign speech on a street outside the station ahead of Sunday’s election.

This aerial photo shows the scene of the gunfire in Nara, western Japan, on July 8, 2022. (Kyodo News via AP)

A NHK A reporter on the spot said two consecutive bangs were heard during Abe’s speech. His security personnel were seen rushing to his aid, in captured videos and images.

Abe was hit to the left of his chest as several shots were fired by the attacker, reported Reutersquoting TBS. One appears to have punched the former prime minister in the neck.

reactions

Current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, widely seen as Abe’s protege, suspended his election campaign after Abe’s shooting and was returning to Tokyo, media reported.

US Ambassador Rahm Emanuel said America was “saddened and shocked” by the shooting.

“Abe-san has been an outstanding leader of Japan and a staunch ally of the United States,” Emanuel said in a statement. “The United States government and the American people pray for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, and the people of Japan.”

Coming from a political family, Abe made the news as a Oldest PM by consecutive days depending before announcing his decision to step down in 2020 after a recurrence of a chronic illness. He shared a close relationship with India, visiting the country in 2006, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

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