Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe was shot this morning while campaigning for a parliamentary electionin the Nara region. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Abe, 67, was in grave condition. He condemned the shooting in the western city of Nara during the campaign for Sunday’s upper house election as an unacceptable attack on the foundation of Japan’s democracy.
Police said a 41-year-old man suspected of carrying out the shooting had been arrested. NHK quoted the suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, as telling police he was dissatisfied with Abe and wanted to kill him.
“Former prime minister Abe was shot at around 11:30 am in Nara. One man, believed to be the shooter, has been taken into custody. The condition of former prime minister Abe is currently unknown,” chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.
The former leader had been delivering a stump speech at an event ahead of Sunday’s upper house elections when the apparent sound of gunshots was heard, NHK and the Kyodo news agency said.
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