Shinzo Abe, former Japan’s Former Prime Minister, shot during speech
Japan Ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in “cardio-respiratory arrest” after collapsing during a speech, with initial reports saying gunshots were heard shortly before he fell to the ground. Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister until his resignation in 2020 – was bleeding from the chest after being shot in the back with a shotgun on Friday morning.
NHK said a man in his 40s was taken into custody but did not give further details. A witness to the attack told broadcasters that the first shot caused Abe to stumble backward, and that he fell to the ground after the second shot.
Amateur video footage showed Abe’s aides chasing smoke behind him. The clip does not show the moment he fell. The suspected gunmen did not attempt to flee and were arrested at the scene. Abe, who was flown to the hospital by helicopter, was in Nara city to deliver a campaign speech ahead of Sunday’s upper house election.
Japan Ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left his post in 2020 for health reasons. In his resignation speech, Abe said he did not want his illness to interfere with decision-making and apologized to the Japanese people for failing to complete his term.
The 65-year-old had been suffering from ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, for many years, but his condition had recently worsened, he said.
He was the longest-serving Prime Minister of Japan. In 2007 he abruptly resigned as prime minister due to his struggle with ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition he had lived with since he was a teenager.
Japan Ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a reputation for boosting Japan’s growth with his aggressive economic policy, known as “Abenomics.”
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