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The assailant shot twice at former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The first shot didn't seem to hit the mark. Abe was wounded in the back by the second shot. A team of paramedics arrived and took the ex-premier to the hospital.
Former Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe tweeted that Abe, 67, was in a state of cardiopulmonary failure.
This wording is often used before death is officially confirmed in Japan.
“Former Prime Minister Abe was shot dead around 11:30 local time (02:30 GMT) in Nara. One person believed to be the shooter has been taken into custody. Former Prime Minister Abe's condition is currently unknown. Whatever the reason, such a barbaric act can never be tolerated and we strongly condemn it, "– said Cabinet Secretary General Hirokazu Matsuno.
When the attack took place, Mr. Abe was defending the Nara candidate. Witnesses say they saw a man with a “big gun” who they said opened fire from behind the politician as he spoke.
The attacker was detained by security forces, who did not attempt to flee.
< br />Local broadcaster NHK, citing police sources, said Mr Abe was “awake and responsive” while being transported to the hospital. The broadcaster also added that the police identified the assailant and seized his gun.
year, and then again from 2012 to 2020 before retiring for health reasons.
Incidents of gun violence are rare in Japan, where firearms are banned and cases of political violence are almost unheard of .
In Japan, people must pass rigorous physical examinations and mental health tests in order to purchase guns, and even then only shotguns and air rifles are allowed.
Former Prime Minister Australia's Kevin Rudd called the assassination attempt “an attack on pro-democracy supporters.”
US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said Abe was “an outstanding leader of Japan and a staunch ally of the US,” adding that the US was “praying” ; for his life.
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