Former Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe died in a hospital after he was attacked during a campaign speech in the city of Nara, doctors said.
Incumbent Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the attack was “barbaric” and no decisions had been made yet regarding parliamentary elections scheduled for July 10.
First responders in Nara told TASS that Abe was rushed to a hospital in a state of “cardiopulmonary arrest” after he was shot. The phrase means clinical death in Japan. According to reports, Abe, 67, was hospitalized with gunshot wounds to his neck and chest. He received a blood transfusion.
The attack took place at about 11:50 local time (05:50 in Moscow). The city’s fire department, which doubles as an emergencies service, then got a call reporting the shots. Eyewitnesses said at least two shots were fired, local news media reported. The police said a 41-year-old man named Tetsuya Yamagami shot at Abe from behind using what looked like a homemade gun. Doctors at first performed a cardiac massage, then flew Abe to a hospital by helicopter, according to footage broadcast on television.
The attacker was detained on the scene immediately. He used to serve in Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. NHK reported he told the police he disliked Abe’s policies and wanted to kill him.
Japan’s main political parties condemned the attack. Japan’s main opposition party, the Constitutional Democrats, said now wasn’t a good time for elections. It’s likely that there will be proposals to delay the elections to the upper house of the parliament, which are scheduled for July 10. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed condolences to Japan at a G20 foreign ministers meeting. Russian Ambassador in Tokyo condemned the assassination.
Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party suspended its campaign.