TOKYO, Japan – An assassination attempt has been made on Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Abe was shot in the neck while giving a campaign speech in the city of Nara, in Japan’s west on Friday morning.
The alleged attacker, a man identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, has been seized by police.
Former Prime Minister Abe was unconscious and showing no vital signs as he was being rushed by ambulance to hospital, according to a Kyodo news agency report.
The attack occurred around 11.30 am Friday.
Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister in history, having served as prime minister from 2006 to 2007, and again from 2012 to 2020.
“Abe-san has been an outstanding leader of Japan and unwavering ally of the U.S. The U.S. Government and American people are praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, & people of Japan,” U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel tweeted.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi also joined with leaders around the globe in paying tribute. “Deeply distressed by the attack on my dear friend Abe Shinzo,” Modi said in a tweet. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and the people of Japan.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters at a G20 meeting in Bali: “Our thoughts, our prayers are with him, with his family, with the people of Japan. This is a very, very sad moment. And we’re awaiting news from Japan.”