Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rushed to hospital after shooting; suspect arrested


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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was rushed to a hospital bleeding after being shot while giving a speech on a street in Nara in western Japan Friday, Japanese media reported. 

Abe, 67, was unconscious and in cardiac arrest, according to Japanese media outlet Kyodo News. 

He appeared to have no vital signs, local fire officials said, NHK reported. His condition has not been updated. 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters at his official residence in Tokyo Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. (Kyodo News via AP)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters at his official residence in Tokyo Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. (Kyodo News via AP)

At the time Abe collapsed, a sound like a gunshot was heard, NHK reported. He appeared to have been shot from behind. 

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said in a statement: “We are all saddened and shocked by the shooting of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Abe-san has been an outstanding leader of Japan and unwavering ally of the U.S. The U.S. Government and American people are praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, & people of Japan.” 

This aerial photo shows the scene of gunshots in Nara, western Japan Friday, July 8, 2022. Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in heart failure after apparently being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, NHK public television said Friday. (Kyodo News via AP)(Kyodo News via AP)

This aerial photo shows the scene of gunshots in Nara, western Japan Friday, July 8, 2022. Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in heart failure after apparently being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, NHK public television said Friday. (Kyodo News via AP)(Kyodo News via AP)

He was making a campaign speech ahead of Sunday’s election for the parliament’s upper house.

People react after gunshots in Nara, western Japan Friday, July 8, 2022. Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in heart failure after apparently being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, NHK public television said Friday. (Kyodo News via AP)

People react after gunshots in Nara, western Japan Friday, July 8, 2022. Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in heart failure after apparently being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, NHK public television said Friday. (Kyodo News via AP)
(Kyodo News via AP)

A male suspect was detained at the scene and a gun was confiscated. NHK identified the suspect as Yamagami Tetsuya, 41.  

Some of the candidates have reportedly canceled street speeches after reports of the shooting, Kyodo News reported. 

Japan's Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends the lower house plenary session of parliament to elect the prime minister of Japan, in Tokyo on November 10, 2021. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Japan’s Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends the lower house plenary session of parliament to elect the prime minister of Japan, in Tokyo on November 10, 2021. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE/VIDEO

Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, falls on the ground in Nara, western Japan Friday, July 8, 2022. Abe was in heart failure after apparently being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, NHK public television said Friday. (Kyodo News via AP)

Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, falls on the ground in Nara, western Japan Friday, July 8, 2022. Abe was in heart failure after apparently being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, NHK public television said Friday. (Kyodo News via AP)
(Kyodo News via AP)

Abe is Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. He served from 2006 to 2007 and again in 2012 until he resigned in 2020 after his ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition, resurfaced, calling his decision at the time “gut-wrenching.”

During his term, he focused on the economy, rebuilding Japan’s military and being a larger player in international affairs. 

He was succeeded by Fumio Kishida who reportedly plans to give a short briefing on the shooting at some point. 

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This is a breaking story. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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