Former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe shot while making speech
He is believed to be in a critical condition.
Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has been shot and seriously injured while making a speech in the city of Nara, in western Japan.
Abe was shot at twice, causing him to fall to the ground, while making a campaign speech ahead of this Sunday’s upper house elections.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a press conference on Friday that Abe is receiving emergency treatment at the Nara Medical University hospital, where staff are fighting to save his life.
"This is not a forgivable act," Kishida said. "We will comprehend the situation and take appropriate measures."
He was rushed to hospital via helicopter with initial reports suggesting he received gunshot wounds to the neck and chest.
A suspect, identified as Yamagami Tetsuya, a local man in his 40s, was arrested and charged with attempted murder, according to NHK.
"Former prime minister Abe was shot at around 11:30 local time (02:30 GMT) in Nara. One man, believed to be the shooter, has been taken into custody. The condition of former prime minister Abe is currently unknown," chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.
"Whatever the reason, such a barbaric act can never be tolerated, and we strongly condemn it."
Abe was Japan's longest-serving prime minister until he resigned from the position in 2020.