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Tipsheet

Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Dies After Being Shot at Campaign Event

AP Photo/Koji Sasahara

Updates—

5:33 a.m. ET: Abe died at 5:03 p.m. local time from excessive bleeding, the head of Nara Medical University said during a press conference.

2:00 a.m. ET: In a press conference, Japan’s current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated that former PM Abe is in critical condition and that doctors are doing everything they can while sharing his prayer that Abe will pull through.

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He called the assassination attempt a shocking incident beyond words and said the attack was “barbaric” and “dastardly” and said such violence cannot be tolerated.

1:40 a.m. ET: Latest reporting from Japan’s NHK states that Abe “remains in hospital without vital signs after being shot.”

NHK also identified the suspect police arrested for attempted murder as Yamagami Tetsuya and reported that investigators “told NHK a gun seized at the scene appeared to be handmade.”

1:00 a.m. ET: The Associated Press reports that current Japanese “Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Cabinet ministers are returning to Tokyo” — as several were making campaign stops in other cities — per a government spokesperson.

In addition, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told the press that “a barbaric act like this is absolutely unforgivable, no matter what the reasons are, and we condemn it strongly.”

Former President Donald Trump released the following statement: 

“Absolutely devastating news that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, a truly great man and leader, has been shot, and is in very serious condition. He was a true friend of mine and, much more importantly, America. This is a tremendous blow to the wonderful people of Japan, who loved and admired him so much. We are all praying for Shinzo and his beautiful family!”

Original Post:

Former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe was shot by an apparent lone assassin at a campaign event in Nara, Japan some 20 miles east of Osaka on Friday morning ahead of elections taking place in the country on Sunday.

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News of the shooting quickly spread, and reports have grown increasingly grave. According to Japanese outlet NHK, Abe was "sent to a hospital" after being shot in the chest from behind while showing "no vital signs" while he was being transported. 

An ambulance reportedly took Abe to a medevac helicopter which flew the former PM to Nara Medical University Hospital.

Videos shared to Twitter showed the scene of the campaign event following the attack.

Reporters at the stump speech relayed hearing "what sounded like two gunshots and saw Abe bleeding" before the apparent suspect, said to be a 42 year old local man, was taken into custody by authorities while still on the scene.

Abe, who was Japan's longest-serving PM from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020, was stumping for a Liberal Democratic Party candidate around 11:30 local time Friday morning when the attack took place. No information on the shooter's motive was immediately reported. 

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Tributes and calls for prayer on Abe's behalf poured in from around the world as leaders remembered his contributions as a fierce critic of the Chinese Communist Party and work to partner with free nations against totalitarian states.

This is a developing story and may be updated.

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