Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is reported to have died after being shot while giving a speech in the city of Nara on Friday.
FORMER Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is reported to have died following a shooting on Friday.
The 67-year-old politician was giving a campaign speech in the city of Nara when he was gunned down and was airlifted to hospital where he was said to be in critical condition after suffering several gunshot wounds.
However, subsequent reports emerged on Friday suggesting he’d lost his fight for life.
News of his death was reported by Japan’s national broadcaster NHK. It comes after Abe’s wife, Akie Abe, is said to have arrived in Nara to be by his side.
Current Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida previously gave an update on Abe’s condition and said: “I am hoping and praying that former prime minister Abe will survive this.”
Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said: “My thoughts are with him and his family. Nato stands with the people of our close partner Japan.”
Mr Abe was giving a campaign speech ahead of this Sunday’s upper house elections when he was shot in the chest and the neck and rushed to Nara Medical University hospital.
The shooter who is believed to be a Nara man in his 40s who was a member of the maritime self defence force for about three years until 2005, did not attempt to flee and was taken into custody at the scene.
Japan has some of the world’s toughest gun-control laws and it is believed the weapon used to attack him was homemade.
Abe was Japan’s longest-serving premier before stepping down in 2020 citing ill health.