Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe has been confirmed dead after he was shot at a campaign event on Friday, public broadcaster NHK and Jiji news agency reported.
“According to a senior LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) official, former prime minister Abe died at a hospital in Kashihara city, Nara region, where he was receiving medical treatment. He was 67,” NHK said.
The former leader had been delivering a stump speech at an event ahead of Sunday’s upper house elections when the apparent sound of gunshots were heard, national broadcaster NHK and the Kyodo news agency said.
Abe, 67, collapsed and was bleeding from the neck, a source from his ruling Liberal Democratic Party told the Jiji news agency.
Neither the LDP nor local police were able to immediately confirm the reports.
NHK and Kyodo both reported Abe was taken to hospital and appeared to be in cardo-respiratory arrest — a term used in Japan indicating no vital signs, and generally preceding a formal certification of death by a coroner.
Several media outlets reported that he appeared to have been shot from behind, possibly with a shotgun. NHK reported that a man had been apprehended, though there were no immediate further details.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, held office in 2006 for one year and again from 2012 to 2020.