Report: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Shot

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his policy speech at the lower house of the parliament on January 20, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. The Japanese Diet convened a 150-day ordinary session today. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

**UPDATE** Japan’s NHK reports that Shinzo Abe has died.

Original story below:

Shinzo Abe, former prime minister of Japan, collapsed during a speech after gunshots were reportedly heard, according to Japanese public broadcasting agency NHK.

Abe collapsed in the western Japanese city of Nara around 11:30 a.m Friday, according to NHK. A NHK correspondent reportedly heard two gunshot sounds and saw Abe fall over while bleeding from his chest. 

The former prime minister was reportedly rushed to the hospital after the incident. Abe is showing no vital signs after the reported gunshot, according to Japanese media.

The Associated Press reported Abe “was not breathing and his heart had stopped” and noted “In Japan, officials sometimes use the term [heart failure] to describe situations where victims are no longer alive but before a formal declaration of death has been made.”

The Washington Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee reported Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters Abe was in critical condition and “doctors are working to save [him].”

Reuters reports a 41-year old man named Tetsuya Yamagami was arrested following the shooting.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel tweeted he was “saddened and shocked” at the news and praying for Abe’s well-being:

“We don’t know his condition, we do know he’s been shot,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said ahead of a G20 meeting in Indonesia. “This is a very, very sad moment and we’re waiting news from Japan.”

Former President Donald Trump expressed sadness at the news that Abe had been shot, calling him “a truly great man and leader” and “a true friend of mine and, much more importantly, America.”


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