Shinzo Abe, former prime minister of Japan, is now in “grave condition” following being shot during a speech in Nara in western Japan.
Nobuo Kishi, the defence minister, said that Mr Abe was receiving a blood transfusion.
Fumio Kishida, the current prime minister, stated that “everything can be done to revive” Abe but that he is currently in “a grave condition”.
Mr Kishida said that the “acts of brutality” were “absolutely unacceptable”. All cabinet members are asked to return to Tokyo. On Sunday, elections to Japan’s upper chamber are scheduled.
As he fell to the ground, Mr Abe held onto his chest. His shirt was stained with blood.
According to the Nara City Fire Department, the 67-year old sustained injuries to the right side and left collarbone.
NHK, a public broadcaster, broadcast footage of Mr Abe falling on the street as security guards ran towards him.
It claimed that a puffy white smoke was seen when Mr Abe gave a campaign speech in front of a railway station.
Reporters on the scene reported hearing two bangs in unison during Mr Abe’s address.
Police say that a 41-year old man was arrested.
NHK reported that the suspect claimed he was angry with Mr Abe and wanted to kill him. Kyodo News reported that the suspect was not motivated by any grudge against Mr Abe’s political views.
It was also reported that the suspect had served in the Japanese Navy.
Japan has very strict gun regulations, so it is rare for political violence to occur there.
Hirokazu Matsuno, chief cabinet secretary, stated that “a barbaric act such as this is absolutely unacceptable, regardless of the reasons, and we strongly condemn it.”
Ambassador Rahm Emanuel from the US stated: “The US government, American people, and Abe-san’s family are praying for Abe-san and the peoples of Japan.”
Boris Johnson, the outgoing UK Prime Minister, said that he was “utterly shocked and saddened” to learn about the deplorable attack on Shinzo abe.
Labour leader Sir Keir Sterner said it was a “truly difficult day” while ex-PM David Cameron said that he was “alarmed” to hear “the terrible news from Japan this morning regarding an appalling attack against my friend, and former colleague Shinzo abe.”
Two terms were served by Abe as Japan’s prime minister. He was also Japan’s longest-serving premier. Abe then stepped down in 2020 because of a chronic health issue.
Since he was a teenager, he has suffered from ulcerative collitis.
He is still a prominent presence in the Liberal Democratic Party and controls one of its major factions.