May 23, 2024

Shinzo Abe: Japan’s former prime minister in ‘very grave condition’ after being shot

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Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe is in a “very grave condition” after being shot twice during a campaign speech, the country’s current prime minister has said.

Mr Abe, 67, was speaking at an event in the western city of Nara when he was shot and fell to the ground. He was taken to a hospital and said to be in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest.

Japanese people and world leaders expressed shock at the assassination attempt, an extremely rare attack in Japan that its political parties condemned.

Struggling to keep emotions in check, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Mr Abe was in grave condition and the assault on him during the campaign for Sunday’s upper house election was an unacceptable attack on the foundation of Japan’s democracy.

“Everything that can be done is being done to revive him. I’m praying from the depths of my heart that his life will be saved,” Mr Kishida told reporters. He said he was not aware of any motive for the “absolutely unforgivable” attack.

Earlier, a fire department official said Abe appeared to be in a state of cardiac arrest when airlifted to hospital.

Police said a 41-year-old man suspected of carrying out the shooting had been arrested. NHK quoted the suspect, identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, as telling police he was dissatisfied with Mr Abe and wanted to kill him.

Mr Abe was making a campaign speech outside a train station when two shots rang out about 11.30am (2.30am GMT). Security officials were then seen tackling a man in grey T-shirt and beige trousers.

Evening Standard.

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