Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was reportedly shot and gravely injured while campaigning Friday in southern Japan, officials said.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was giving a speech in the city of Nara when gunfire was heard around 11:30 a.m. (10:30 p.m. Thursday ET).
He’s reportedly showing no vital signs after being taken to the hospital, Japanese media report.
BREAKING REPORT: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly shot during campaign speech in Japan.
— DailyNoah.com (@DailyNoahNews) July 8, 2022
#UPDATE Japan's former prime minister Shinzo Abe is showing no vital signs after being taken to hospital following an apparent attack at a campaign event in the Nara region, Japanese media report pic.twitter.com/6UaZxWwn0I
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) July 8, 2022
CNBC aired this video report:
“In brief on-camera remarks, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Abe’s condition remained “unknown” and that one person had been apprehended in relation to the shooting,” NBC News reported.
First video of attempted assassination attempt on Shinzo Abe: pic.twitter.com/3GrQX7QLpK
— Scott Stedman (indefinite hiatus) (@ScottMStedman) July 8, 2022
Second video shows the attempted assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
NOTE: Video not graphic, but viewer discretion is advised pic.twitter.com/BZNGHP78ds
— BNO News (@BNONews) July 8, 2022
Former PM of Japan Shinzo Abe shot dead.
Visuals of the spot just after the incident.pic.twitter.com/vY6okpMrTU
— Madhav Mantri (@madhavmantri) July 8, 2022
Per NBC News:
Elections for the upper house of the Japanese Parliament are Sunday. Abe, 67, who stepped down in 2020, was campaigning for other members of the governing conservative Liberal Democratic Party but is not a candidate himself.
The incident sent shockwaves through Japan, where gun violence is extremely rare. Handguns are banned in the country and people must undergo extensive tests, training and background checks to obtain and keep shotguns and air rifles.
The U.S. ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, said that he was shocked and saddened by news of the shooting.
“Abe-san has been an outstanding leader of Japan and unwavering ally of the United States,” Emanuel said in a statement Friday. “The U.S. Government and American people are praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, and people of Japan.”
Abe hails from Japan’s political elite and as prime minister had made reviving economic growth through his “Abenomics” policies a key pillar of his time in office.
Shinzo Abe was an ally of President Trump.
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) July 8, 2022
Shinzo Abe and President Trump feeding fish. pic.twitter.com/HYLVNqd71I
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 8, 2022
“Former Prime Minister Abe’s condition is not currently known, and we are checking the situation,” Matsuno told reporters at an emergency news briefing at the prime minister’s office.
He said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was on a tour of duty, was immediately informed and will return to his office urgently. Matsuno said he has instructed ministers who are in various parts of the country to return to Tokyo immediately. The prime minister is scheduled to speak later today.
Japan has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world!
From the U.S. Department of Justice:
Other than the police and the military, no one in Japan may purchase a handgun or a rifle. Hunters and target shooters may possess shotguns and airguns under strictly circumscribed conditions. The police check gun licensees’ ammunition inventory to make sure there are no shells or pellets unaccounted for.