UPDATE: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said the condition of former prime minister Shinzo Abe remains critical. Kishida was addressing a press conference following the attack on Abe on Friday morning. Meanwhile, officials from the Nara City Fire Department said Abe is in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest after collapsing on the scene of the crime.
Original Story: Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was shot during a public ceremony in the western city of Nara on Friday.
Abe has been taken to hospital and was seen bleeding profusely after collapsing on the stage. According to local authorities, Abe is not showing any vital signs.
Kyodo News reported that the former premier was not conscious and appeared to be in cardiac arrest.
According to NHK, Abe was shot in the chest. Local authorities said a suspect has been arrested.
Nikkei reported that the assailant fired at Abe with a shotgun from behind. The weapon used in the crime has been recovered from the site.
Yoichi Masuzoe, former governor of Tokyo, tweeted that Abe was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest. According to the BBC, 'cardiopulmonary arrest' is a term commonly used in Japan before a death is officially confirmed.
Abe, 67, is the longest-serving prime minister in Japan's history. He served as prime minister from 2012 to 2020 and resigned citing poor health.
Abe was in the city of Nara as part of the campaign for Sunday's election for the Japanese parliament's upper house.
Abe brought a lot of stability to Japanese politics, which was plagued by failure of governments to stay in power long enough to offer stable governance. He also put Japan back on the track to economic stability, earning praise for what has come to be known as 'Abenomics'. The crux of his economic agenda was to boost money supply by widening government spending. He also rolled out reforms that made the economy more competitive.
Shinzo Abe is the son of leading Liberal Democratic Party politician Shintaro Abe, who served as the country's foreign minister in the 1980s.
(To be updated)