According to Reuters, Japanese former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot on Friday while campaigning in the city of Nara, a government spokesman said, with public broadcaster NHK saying he appeared to have been shot from behind by a man with a shotgun.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said he did not know Abe’s condition. Authorities have arrested a 42-year-old man who appeared to have shot Abe, media reported.
Kyodo news agency and NHK said Abe, 67, appeared to be in a state of cardiac arrest when taken to the hospital, after having initially been conscious and responsive.
Shinzo Abe was the first world leader to meet with President Trump after the 2016 election, a fierce anti-communist, a defender of national sovereignty, and a friend of America.
NHK showed a video of Abe making an election campaign speech outside a train station when two shots rang out, after which the view was briefly obscured and then security officials were seen tackling a man on the ground. A puff of smoke behind Abe could be seen in a separate video shown in NHK.
A video surfaced on social media that appears to show the assassination attempt against the former Prime Minister.
According to the Associated Press, a fire official in Japan says former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was not breathing, and his heart stopped while being airlifted to the hospital for a gunshot wound.