Ex-Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died after he was shot earlier in the city of Nara on Friday, July 8, officials said.
According to chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, Abe, Japan’s best-known politician was shot at a campaign event on Friday, July 8.
After being shot, Abe (67) was not showing any vital signs. He was not breathing, and his heart stopped while a fire official was quoted as saying he was airlifted to the hospital for a gunshot wound.
According to the reports, the fire department had said earlier that the former prime minister was in a state of cardiorespiratory arrest, a term often used in Japan before death can be confirmed by a coroner.
Matsuno said, “Former prime minister Abe was shot at around 11:30 am,” in the country’s western region of 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,” Matsuno added.
It was gathered that the former prime minister had been delivering a speech at an event ahead of Sunday’s upper house elections, with heavy security present, but spectators could approach him easily.
Footage shows him standing on a stage when a loud blast is heard and smoke is visible in the air.
A man is then seen being tackled to the ground by security.
“He was giving a speech and a man came from behind,” a young woman at the scene told the reporters.
“The first shot sounded like a toy. He didn’t fall and there was a large bang. The second shot was more visible, you could see the spark and smoke,” she added.
“After the second shot, people surrounded him and gave him a cardiac massage.”
Shinzo Abe the longest-serving Japanese prime minister held office in 2006 for one year and again from 2012 to 2020 when he was forced to step down due to his bowel condition ulcerative colitis.
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