Shinzo Abe, Ex-Japanese Leader, Collapses After Gunshot Is Heard: News Updates


TOKYO — Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister of Japan, was left unconscious after being wounded on Friday while he was giving a speech in western Japan, according to a fire official.

Mr. Abe, 67, collapsed and appeared to be bleeding after a gunshot was heard in the city of Nara near Kyoto, according to a reporter for NHK, the public broadcaster, on the scene.

Seigo Yasuhara, an official in the command center at the Nara Fire Department, said that Mr. Abe had been taken by an ambulance to a medical evacuation helicopter. He was then transported to Nara Medical University Hospital, the Nara Fire Department said.

He was unconscious and showing no vital signs, the official said. Kyodo News said Mr. Abe had been shot in the chest.

NHK, citing the police, said a suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, had been taken into custody. He was is in his 40s and a Nara resident, the report said.

Mr. Abe was the country’s longest-serving prime minister and served two terms, from 2006 to 2007 and 2012 to 2020. He resigned in 2020 because of ill health.

The former prime minister was in Nara campaigning, ahead of elections for the Upper House of Parliament scheduled for Sunday. Fumio Kishida, the current prime minister, was on the campaign trail in Yamagata Prefecture and was to return to Tokyo, where he was expected to speak to the news media.

Hirokazu Matsuno, chief cabinet secretary to Prime Minister Kishida, said that a crisis management center had been set up in the prime minister’s office.

Rahm Emanuel, the American ambassador to Japan, said in a post on Twitter: “We are all saddened and shocked,” adding: “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.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Source : Nytimes