Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has died after being shot while making a speech in the western city of Nara.
He was 67. Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister until he resigned in 2020, was flown to hospital by helicopter after the attack. His death was first reported by the public broadcaster NHK.
Police arrested the suspected gunman at the scene of an attack that shocked many in Japan, which is one of the world’s safest nations and has some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Abe was in “grave condition” and he hoped Abe would survive.
Kishida and his cabinet ministers hastily returned to Tokyo from campaign events around the country after the shooting, which he called “dastardly and barbaric”.
“I’m praying for former prime minister Abe’s survival from the bottom of my heart,” Kishida said at his office.