Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shot while giving a speech, has reportedly not survived the attack.
Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been shot and is reportedly showing no signs of life, according to local Japanese media.
Abe, who stepped down from his position as PM in 2020 due to health issues, was giving a speech in the city of Nara while campaigning for a national election when a gunman opened fire. Smartphone footage of the incident shows gunfire impacting around Abe as he is speaking, and security personnel appearing to pin a suspect down a few moments later.
Abe was rushed to hospital following the incident, but is reportedly showing no vital signs. However, his passing has yet to be officially declared.
Firearms and other weapons have been de-facto banned for half a century, with exceptions being made for hunting and sport shooting. Local Japanese media are reporting that police suspect the weapon used in the attack might be homemade.
Condolences have begun to pour in from world leaders, with Australia’s Prime Minister, Taiwan’s President and the United States Ambassador to Japan having issued statements.
“Horrified by this terrible news from Japan,” said former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Twitter. “Abe Shinzo is one of the great leaders of our times. Right now we must hope and pray that he pulls through.”
Shinzo had served two terms as PM to become Japan’s longest-serving premier.