Japan’s Former Premier Dead at 67 after Being Shot at Election Campaign

Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe succumbed to his injuries on Friday after being shot at an election campaign event.

Authorities at a hospital in Japan’s western Nara city told a news conference “Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister, succumbed to his injuries.”

He died at 5.03 p.m. (0803GMT), the official added at 67 years old.

The former prime minister was treated for over five hours but could not be revived.

Abe sustained injuries on the right side of his neck when a 41-year-old assailant opened fire on him during the event in the city of Nara early on Friday.

Fumio Kishida, the incumbent prime minister, earlier told a news conference in Tokyo that Abe was “in critical condition” and health workers were “working very hard” to handle the situation.

Abe, 67, was delivering a speech at a political event on a street in the western city of Nara when he was “shot from behind” by a person who is now arrested.

The incident, termed “deplorable” by the government spokesperson, took place at around 11.30 a.m. local time (02.30 GMT).

Japan will hold senate elections on Sunday and Abe was campaigning for the ruling LDP candidates.

At least two shots were heard before Abe collapsed and fell to the ground. He was bleeding and the gunman shot him from behind.

The assailant has been identified as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, a resident of Nara city. The shotgun used in the attack has been seized.

Abe served as Japan’s prime minister for the longest time, in 2006, and also from 2012 to 2020.

He was elected the head of the LDP on Sept. 20, 2006 at the age of 52. He was re-elected in the 2014 and 2017 elections, and stepped down in 2020 due to health issues.

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