Tokyo: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe collapsed in the western Japanese city of Nara after being attacked by an unidentified man and gunshots were heard in the vicinity on Friday, according to international media reports. The Japanese police have seized the suspected attacker. Japan`s leading news agency Kyodo News citing local authorities reported that Abe was unconscious and appeared to be showing no vital signs. He is said to be in a critical state at the moment.
Abe was attacked by a man from behind while he was making a stump speech on a street in Nara. Police seized the man who attacked Abe at around 11.30 am, The Japan Times reported.
A man in his 40s had been arrested for attempted murder and a gun had been confiscated from him, confirmed National broadcaster NHK, citing police sources. ”Abe was giving a speech and a man came from behind and opened fire at him,” a young woman at the scene told NHK.
Several videos of the moment when Abe was shot by the attacker while he delivering the speech have come to the fore on social media. The video shows locals rushing to help the former Japanese PM, a few seconds after he fell unconscious after being shot in the chest.
Japanese public broadcaster, NHK, said Shinzo Abe may have been possibly shot in the chest. A local reporter on-site heard something that sounded like a gunshot. The reporter also saw Abe bleeding. Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, held office in 2006 for one year and again from 2012 to 2020 when he was forced to step down due to the debilitating bowel condition ulcerative colitis.