Live Update: Shinzo Abe taken to hospital after apparently being shot

Credit…Asahi Shimbun, via Getty Images

TOKYO – Shinzo Abe, Japan’s former prime minister, collapsed and lost consciousness after he was apparently shot Friday while giving a speech in western Japan, according to a fire official.

Mr. Abe, 67, appeared to be bleeding profusely after a gunshot was heard in the city of Nara near Kyoto, according to a reporter for NHKpublic television station. Kyodo News reported that Mr. Abe was shot in the chest.

NHK cited police as saying one suspect, 42-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, had been detained. He is a Nara resident, the report said.

Seigo Yasuhara, an official in the command center of the Nara Fire Department, said that Mr. Abe was in cardiopulmonary arrest and that he was taken by ambulance to a medical evacuation helicopter. Nara Fire Department said he was then transported to Nara Medical University Hospital.

Mr. Abe was unconscious and showed no vital signs, Mr. Yasuhara said.

Mr. Abe is a man of the country longest serving prime minister and served two terms, from 2006 to 2007 and 2012 to 2020. He resigned in 2020 due to ill health.

The former prime minister has traveled to Nara to campaign ahead of the Senate elections scheduled for Sunday. Mr. Abe was giving a campaign speech on behalf of Kei Sato, 43, a current member of the Senate who was running for re-election in Nara, when he was shot.

Fumio Kishida, the incumbent prime minister, is on the campaign trail in Yamagata Prefecture and will return to Tokyo, where he is expected to speak to the media.

Hirokazu Matsuno, Chief of Cabinet Office to Prime Minister Kishida, said that a crisis management center has been set up at the prime minister’s office.

Rahm Emanuel, US Ambassador to Japan, said in a Twitter post: “We are all deeply saddened and shocked,” adding: “Abe-san is an outstanding leader of Japan and a staunch ally of the United States of America, the U.S. government, and the American people. is praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, & the people of Japan. “

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