Update at 5:20 a.m. Eastern – From NHK
Officials from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party claim that Abe Shinzo, the former Japanese Prime Minister, has died. Abe was shot while delivering a speech in Nara, western Japan.
NHK’s reporter was on-site and heard two gunshots around 11:30 AM. Abe began to collapse before being taken to the hospital.
Police claim they have arrested a 41-year-old man for attempted killing. Sources from the Defense Ministry claim that he was a member of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force for three years, up to 2005.
Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. He was 67.
Update at 2:40 AM Eastern: From NHK
After being shot in the street in Nara’s western prefecture, Abe Shinzo, the former Japanese Prime Minister, is currently in hospital.
Yamagami Tetsuya was arrested by police for attempted murder. NHK was told by sources that the gun taken at the scene looked handmade.
The suspect, aged 41, lives in Nara where the shooting occurred. Defense sources claim that the suspect was employed by the Maritime Self Defense Force for three years, until 2005.
According to police, the suspect confessed to investigators that he was unhappy with the former prime minister and wanted his death.
Shinzo Abe was a former prime minister of Japan and sustained gunshot wounds in the chest and head while delivering a speech in Nara, western Japan.
Witnesses claimed that Abe collapsed clutching his chest and bleeding after hearing two shots.
NHK was told by a witness that he heard a man come from behind while he was giving a speech.
“The first shot sounded almost like a toy. The bang was loud and he didn’t fall. She added that the second shot was clearer, and you could see the smoke and spark.” “People surrounded him after the second shot and gave him a cardiac massage.”
Some outlets report that Abe is dead. Others say he was awake and responsive right after the shooting but then went into cardiac arrest. NHK, a Japanese broadcaster, reports that Abe is still in hospital with no vital signs and is in critical condition. Fumio Kishida, the current prime minister, stated that medical workers were working hard to save Abe, and called the attack “barbaric”.
The shooter is a Nara resident male in his 40s in police custody.
He may have used a homemade sawed-off shotgun.
Hirokazu Matsuno, Chief Cabinet Secretary, told reporters that former prime minister Abe was killed at approximately 11:30 AM local time.
“One man, believed by many to be the shooter has been taken into police custody. He said that the condition of Abe, former prime minister, is not known at this time. “Regardless of the reason, such barbaric acts cannot be tolerated and we strongly condemn them.”
After Trump’s 2016 election, Abe was the first leader in the world to meet with Trump. The two enjoyed a warm friendship. Trump posted this on Truth Social Friday morning.
Soon after the news broke, Rahm Emanuel, American Ambassador to Japan, tweeted a response:
Biden appears not to have been awakened from his sleep to discuss the situation. His staff is frantically trying to find a way for Trump to be blamed for the shooting.
Abe, now 67, has resigned as prime minister due to health concerns. He was the longest-serving prime minister in Japan. He was giving a speech to support Liberal Democratic candidates in advance of Sunday’s election for parliament’s upper chamber.
In recent years, the former PM has been critical of China and has upset the government. He declared in November that Japan and the U.S. should defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression. He stated that Beijing’s President Xi Jinping should not a misinterpreted acknowledging this. He criticized President Joe Biden’s ambiguous policies toward Taiwan in an April op-ed and criticized “America’s refusal to explicitly say it will ‘defend Taiwan’ if it is attacked.”
Japan has some of the most strict gun laws in the world, and private gun ownership is very rare.