Japan’s ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in critical condition after being shot
Islam News – Former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe was in critical condition Friday after being shot in a “barbaric act,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said.
Driving the news: Abe collapsed around 11:30 am local time after two gunshots were heard at a campaign event where Abe was speaking in the city of Nara, public broadcaster NHK reported.
Police arrested Yamagami Tetsuya and retrieved a gun, NHK reported.
Abe was campaigning for a candidate ahead of Sunday’s elections for the Upper House of Parliament.
What they’re saying: “Doctors are doing everything they can at this moment. I am hoping and praying that former Prime Minister Abe will survive this,” Kishida said at a press conference.
This act “is barbaric and malicious and cannot be tolerated,” he added.
“This is not a forgivable act,” Kishida said, adding that authorities will “take appropriate measures to handle the situation.”
Details: Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said earlier Friday the government was coordinating a response to the shooting, the Washington Post reports.
All Cabinet members who are campaigning or helping campaigns have been requested to return to Tokyo, Matsuno said.
A crisis management center has been set up in the prime minister’s office, he added, per the New York Times.
“A barbaric act like this is absolutely unforgivable, no matter what the reasons are, and we condemn it strongly,” Matsuno said.
The big picture: Abe, who was most recently in office from December 2012 to September 2020, was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. He resigned in 2020 for health reasons but remained influential in politics.
Shootings are rare in Japan, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the world.
What they’re saying: “We are all saddened and shocked by the shooting of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo,” U.S. ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel wrote on Twitter.
“Abe-san has been an outstanding leader of Japan and unwavering ally of the U.S.,” he added. “The U.S. Government and American people are praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, & people of Japan.”