Shinzo Abe hospitalized after shooting in Japan
Former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot at on Friday in Nara while campaigning for the upcoming election said the Japan government’s spokesperson. The 67-year-old ex-world leader is showing no vital signs after being rushed to hospital, said news agency AFP quoting Japanese media.
Mr Abe was giving a stump speech for a candidate in Nara when the attack happened – eye-witnesses say they saw a man with what they described as a large gun fire from behind.
The first shot appears to have missed but the second shot hit Mr Abe in the back. He immediately fell to the ground bleeding. Security then detained the attacker who made no attempt to run.
The attacker, Tetsuya Yamagami has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder for shooting at Shinzo Abe, reported Japanese media house NHK quoting police sources. It added that Abe was likely hit from behind by shotgun fire.
Chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters, “Former prime minister Abe was shot at around 11:30 local time (02:30 GMT) in Nara. One man, believed to be the shooter, has been taken into custody. The condition of former prime minister Abe is currently unknown, whatever the reason, such a barbaric act can never be tolerated, and we strongly condemn it.”
Shinzo Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, held office in 2006 for a year and then again from 2012 to 2020. He stepped down as a Prime Minister citing health reason. He later revealed that he had suffered a relapse of ulcerative colitis, an intestinal disease. He was succeeded by his close party ally Yoshihide Suga, who was later replaced by Fumio Kishida.
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