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Shinzo Abe: Former Japanese Prime Minister shot dead while delivering speech | World news

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in a “grave state” after he was shot during a speech in the western city of Nara.

Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said Mr Abe had a blood transfusion.

Incumbent Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said “everything that can be done is being done to revive him”, but Mr Abe is “currently in a critical condition”.

Mr Kishida added that the “act of brutality” was “absolutely unforgettable”. He asked all members of the cabinet to return to Tokyo. The elections for the upper house of Japan will be held on Sunday.

Mr Abe held his chest as he collapsed, his shirt smeared with blood.

He had wounds to the right side of his neck and to his left collarbone, the Nara City fire department said, adding that he was in cardiopulmonary arrest before being taken to the hospital.

Public broadcaster NHK broadcast images of Mr Abe, 67, collapsing in the street, with security guards running towards him.

It said a puff of white smoke was seen as Mr Abe made a campaign outside a station.

A reporter at the scene said they heard two consecutive bangs during Mr. Abe.

A 41-year-old man has been arrested, police said.

The suspect told officers he was not happy with Mr Abe and intended to kill him, NHK reported. But Kyodo News said the man was not motivated by a resentment against Mr Abe’s political beliefs.

It is also reported that the suspect served in the Japanese Navy.

Image:
Mr Abe is lying on the ground after being shot. Photo: Kyodo Media via Reuters

Political violence is rare in Japan, which has strict gun rules.

“A barbaric act like this is absolutely unforgivable, whatever the reasons, and we strongly condemn it,” said Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.

U.S. Ambassador Rahm Emanuel commented: “The U.S. government and the American people are praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family and the Japanese.”

Outgoing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “utterly appalled and saddened to hear of the despicable attack on Shinzo Abe”.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was a “truly dark day”, while former Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “alarmed to hear the terrible news from Japan this morning regarding the horrific attack on my friend and former colleague Shinzo Abe “.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pictured in Tokyo in December 2020
Image:
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pictured in Tokyo in December 2020

Mr Abe served two terms as prime minister – and became Japan’s longest-serving prime minister – before stepping down in 2020, saying a chronic health problem had resurfaced.

He has suffered from ulcerative colitis since his puberty.

He has remained a dominant presence in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, controlling one of its major factions.

Shinzo Abe: Former Japanese Prime Minister shot dead while delivering speech | World news

Source link Shinzo Abe: Former Japanese Prime Minister shot dead while delivering speech | World news

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