Former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 67, has died after being shot today while delivering a campaign speech in the city of Nara in Japan.
Abe who is Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister immediately collapsed after being shot and he was rushed to the nearest hospital. He was said to be in grave condition.
The BBC reported that the Fire and Disaster Management Agency confirmed that Abe had a bullet wound on the right of his neck, and also suffered subcutaneous bleeding under the left part of his chest.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the attack in the “strongest terms” and said he was praying “from the depths” of his heart that Abe would survive.
“It is barbaric and malicious and it cannot be tolerated,” he said.
The gunman who shot Abe made no attempt to run and he was arrested. Security officers also seized his weapon which was reportedly a handmade gun. The 41-year-old male suspect has been identified as Yamagami Tetsuya, a former navy officer.
Abe had a team of security police with him when he was shot but the gunman was still able to get to within a few meters of the former prime minister.
Abe served as Japan’s prime minister from December 2012 to September 2020 when he stepped down due to health issues. He was known for his economic policy that came to be known as “Abenomics”, built on monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and structural reforms.
Al Jazeera reported that Abe remained a dominant presence over the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) as he controlled one of its major factions.
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