Japan’s Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Has Died After He Was Shot In The Chest While Giving A Speech

Japan's former prime minister Shinzo Abe has died after he was shot in the chest while giving a speech at a campaign event.

Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe has died after he was shot in the chest while giving a speech at a campaign event, according to national broadcaster NHK. He was 67.

A 42-year-old man had opened fired with a handmade handgun while Abe was carrying out a speech in Japan’s Nara at around 11:30 am local time on Friday July 8, according to authorities.

Local news agency, NHK, which had been touring alongside Abe, reported the man had approached Abe from behind and shot twice.

It was after the second shot that witnesses saw the 67-year-old collapse to the ground.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency confirmed that Abe had gunshot related injuries on his right neck and left chest, according to the New York Times.

Aerial footage of the scene shows emergency vehicles arriving to the scene and rushing Abe to the Nara Medical University Hospital.

Officials reported that Abe was taken to the hospital and he remained “unconscious” and “showing no vital signs”.

Former Tokyo governor, Yoichi Masuzoe, tweeted Abe remained “in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest” while several media outlets reported he was in”grave” condition throughout the afternoon.

Japanese state media reported about five hours later that Abe had died.

The suspect, a former Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, who was apprehended at the scene, reportedly told authorities he had been dissatisfied with Abe and had aimed to kill him.

Gun violence is usually rare in Japan, where handguns are usually banned.

“Whatever the reason, such a barbaric act can never be tolerated, and we strongly condemn it,” said chief cabinet secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, according to BBC.

Following the attack, world leaders and organizations showed support to Abe and his family and expressed their admiration for the relationship the former prime minister had among their countries and organizations.

Abe is the longest serving prime minister in Japan, holding office in 2006 and again from 2016 to 2020, when he resigned due to health reasons.