Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has died after he was shot while delivering a speech at a political rally.
Abe, 67, was campaigning for an upcoming parliamentary election in Nara when he was shot in the left side of the chest and the neck.
He was airlifted to a hospital, where an official said he suffered a cardiac arrest and was “in a grave condition” and succumbed to his injuries shortly afterwards.
The assassination suspect, who has since been identified as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, was immediately wrestled to the ground by Abe’s security team and arrested shortly afterwards. He reportedly told police that he was “dissatisfied” with Abe and wanted to kill him.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the assassination, describing it as “an unacceptable attack on Japanese democracy”.
Abe served as Japanese Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2020 and was the longest-serving Prime Minister in the nation’s history.
He was renowned for his economic policies, nicknamed ’Abenomics’, that lifted Japan’s economy out of deflation.