Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dies after being shot | Political news
NHK and Kyodo report Abe’s death, hours after the 67-year-old was gunned down while campaigning in the city of Nara.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pronounced dead, doctors treating him have confirmed, after he was shot dead during an election campaign event in the city of Nara.
“Shinzo Abe was transported to [the hospital] at 12:20 p.m. He was in cardiac arrest when he arrived. Resuscitation was administered. However, unfortunately, he died at 5:03 p.m.,” Hidetada Fukushima, a professor of emergency medicine at Nara Medical University Hospital, told reporters on Friday.
Officials said Abe was shot while delivering a campaign speech on the street near a train station in Nara. Broadcaster NHK said its reporter at the scene heard a gun fire twice before Abe collapsed to the ground, clutching his chest and bleeding.
A 41-year-old suspect was arrested at the scene. He would have used a “homemade” weapon.
Abe was airlifted to hospital by helicopter, but he was already showing no vital signs by the time he arrived at the facility, with gunshot wounds to his neck and chest. A bullet appears to have entered through his left shoulder.
Abe died of blood loss, despite receiving large amounts of blood transfusions, Fukushima said.
The former prime minister’s wife, Akie Abe, arrived at the hospital earlier on Friday afternoon and Fukushima said the family had been notified of Abe’s death.
Abe served as Prime Minister of Japan from December 2012 to September 2020, making him the country’s longest-serving prime minister.
Outgoing Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters after Abe’s death was confirmed that he was “at a loss for words”.
He had previously abandoned the election campaign and flew to the capital, Tokyo, by helicopter where in a trembling voice he condemned “a barbaric act during the election campaign, which is the foundation of democracy”.
“It is absolutely unforgivable. I condemn this act in the strongest terms.