Shinzo Abe Shot in Japan: Live Updates

Shinzo Abe being carried on a stretcher to a medical helicopter in Nara, Japan, on Friday.
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Motoko Rich

TOKYO – Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in critical condition after being shot during a speech in western Japan early Friday, according to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

In the images circulated on social networks, Mr. Abe, 67, fell to the ground in the city of Nara, near Kyoto. The Japan Fire and Disaster Management Agency said that Mr. Abe was shot in the right neck and left chest.

Police said they arrested the suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami. on charges of attempted murder. The police spokesman said that the suspect used “weapon-like equipment” and that equipment was taken from the scene.

Footage shared on social media showed a man being beaten after the shooting near Yamatosaidaiji station. According to information, that person was a resident of Nara NHK, a public broadcaster. A detailed motive for the shooting was not immediately made public.

Mr. Kishida, who was on the campaign trail in Yamagata Prefecture and returned to Tokyo after the shooting, told a press briefing that the attack was a “heinous act,” adding: “It is brutal and malicious and cannot be tolerated. .”

He added: “The doctors are doing their best at the moment. “Right now, I hope and pray that former Prime Minister Abe will survive.”

Nara Fire Department command center official Seigo Yasuhara said that after the shooting, Mr. Abe was in cardiopulmonary arrest and was taken by ambulance to a medical evacuation helicopter, unconscious and showing no vital signs. According to information from the Nara Fire Protection Service, he was later taken to Nara Medical University Hospital.

Chief Secretary of Prime Minister Kishida’s Cabinet Hirokazu Matsuno said that a crisis management center has been established in the prime minister’s office.

Mr. Abe was of the country the longest serving prime minister and served two terms in 2006-2007 and 2012-2020. He resigned in 2020 due to health reasons.

The former prime minister was campaigning in Nara ahead of the elections to the Upper House of Parliament scheduled for Sunday. Mr. Abe was giving a campaign speech on behalf of incumbent Upper House member Kei Sato, 43, who is running for re-election in Narada. He had been speaking for less than a minute when, around 11:30 a.m., two loud explosions were heard from behind.

Standing next to Mr. Abe. He said he heard two loud noises and saw white smoke rising into the sky.

Mr. Abe fell off the small 20-inch stand he was sitting on so he could climb over the crowd.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” said Mr. Ogita said in a phone interview Friday afternoon. “I saw him fall.”

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