Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died of his wounds after being shot while delivering an election campaign speech in Nara, local media reported.
On Friday, the NHK broadcaster and the Kyodo news agency reported Abe’s death, hours after he was shot in the chest and neck.
Earlier, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the attack in the “strongest terms” and said he hoped Abe would survive “from the depths” of his heart.
The motive for the attack was unknown, according to Kishida, who cut short a campaign appearance in Yamagata and returned by helicopter to his official residence in Tokyo.
Hirokazu Matsuno, Chief Cabinet Secretary, told reporters. Abe, who was in Nara campaigning for the parliament’s upper house election on Sunday, was shot at around 11:30 a.m. (02:30 GMT). “Such heinousness cannot be tolerated,” Matsuno said.
According to NHK, Abe appeared to be shot from behind with a shotgun, and a reporter on the scene heard “what sounded like a gun going off twice.”
The broadcaster showed footage of Abe collapsing on the street, surrounded by security guards. When Abe collapsed, he was holding his chest and his shirt was smeared with blood.
According to NHK, a 41-year-old male suspect has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. According to the report, Yamagami Tetsuya, the suspect, was holding a gun and police confiscated it.
“This is an outrageous attack,” Japan’s deputy cabinet secretary for public affairs, Koichiro Matsumoto, told Al Jazeera. “The government strongly condemns this in the strongest possible terms.
Video shows the moment former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was shot from behind as he campaigned in the city of Nara. Abe was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) July 8, 2022