Shinzo Abe shot: former Japan prime minister in critical condition, says PM Kishida – live updates | Japan

Key events:

Politicians globally continue to react to the shooting of Shinzo Abe this morning.

Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas
has said such violence is “an attack against the very idea of ​​democracy”.

I am shocked and saddened to hear about the shooting of Abe Shinzo.

Such violence is also an attack against the very idea of ​​democracy.

Our thoughts are with you, your loved ones and all the people of @japan.

— Kaja Kallas (@kajakallas) July 8, 2022

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commissionurges Abe: “stay strong”.

More leaders and politicians from around the world have issued statements in response to this morning’s shooting.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “deeply distressed” by the attack and that his thoughts and prayers were with Shinzo Abe, “his family and the people of Japan”.

Deeply distressed by the attack on my dear friend Abe Shinzo. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and the people of Japan.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 8, 2022

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was “deeply shocked” by the news.

He was one of the first leaders I formally met when I became Prime Minister. He was deeply committed to his role, and also generous and kind. I recall him asking after the recent loss of our pet when I met him, a small gesture but one that speaks to the kind of person he is. My thoughts are with his wife dele and the people of Japan. Events like this shake us all to the core.”

Malaysia’s foreign minister Saifuddin Abdullah, said on Twitter that the government and people of Malaysia were “praying for his speedy recovery”.

The Philippines Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo said: “I extend my deep sympathy and pray for his early recovery.”

TV cameras capture attack on former PM Shinzo Abe.

Shinzo Abe shot: TV cameras capture attack on former PM and suspect’s arrest – video

Summary

  • Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe is in “critical condition” after he was shot while giving a campaign speech in western Japan at about 11.30am on Friday. He was shot in the chest and neck. A male suspect was arrested at the scene.
  • Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he was praying that Abe would survive and condemned the shooting as “barbaric and malicious”. Japanese media earlier reported that Abe appeared to have no vital signs, citing comments by the local fire department.
  • Prime Minister Kishida said the suspect’s motivations were unclear. Japanese media has reported that he had been a member of the maritime self defense force for about three years, until around 2005. He told police he was frustrated with Abe and intended to kill him, according to national broadcaster NHK.
  • Media reports quoted police as saying that the weapon thought to have been used in the attack was homemade. Japan has a near “zero-tolerance” of gun ownership and an extremely low rate of gun crime.
  • Abe had been in the city of Nara giving a campaign speech ahead of this Sunday’s upper house elections when two gunshots were heard. NHK public television broadcast footage showing Abe collapsed on the street, with several security guards running toward him.
  • Prime Minister Kishida said no decision had been made regarding the upcoming election schedule, but that he was asking all cabinet members to return to Tokyo.
  • Politicians across the world have expressed concern over Abe’s condition, including in the US, Australia, Indonesia and Taiwan. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said “This is a very, very sad moment. And we’re awaiting news from Japan.”

Boris Johnson has condemned the attack on Shinzo Abe, describing it as despicable. Politicians from the US, Australia, Taiwan and Indonesia have issued similar statements.

Utterly appalled and saddened to hear about the despicable attack on Shinzo Abe.

My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 8, 2022

Prime Minister Kishida said that the motivations of the suspect were not clear, but described the upcoming elections as “the very foundation of democracy” and said the attack “cannot be tolerated”.

Kishida described the shooting as “barbaric and malicious”.

“I would like to use the harshest words available to condemn this act,” he said.

Kishida said no decision had been made regarding the upcoming election schedule, but added that he was asking all cabinet members to return to Tokyo.

Shinzo Abe in ‘critical condition’ – prime minister Fumio Kishida

Prime minister Fumio Kishida is now taking questions from the media.

He says Shinzo Abe is in a critical condition.

“Currently doctors are doing everything they can, at this moment. I am hoping and praying that former prime minister Abe will survive this,” he says.

He describes the shooting as a “heinous act”.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, speaks to media at the Prime Minister's official residence Friday, July 8, 2022, in Tokyo.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, speaks to media at the Prime Minister’s official residence Friday, July 8, 2022, in Tokyo. Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has arrived at his office by helicopter and is currently meeting with officials.

‘This is a very, very sad moment’ – Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed deep concern over the condition of Shinzo Abe.

“Our thoughts, our prayers are with him, with his family, with the people of Japan,” Blinken said on the sidelines of a G20 meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali. “This is a very, very sad moment. And we’re awaiting news from Japan.”

Suspect was ‘former maritime self defense force member’ – reports

Japanese media has reported that the suspect in the shooting had been a member of the maritime self defense force for about three years, until around 2005.

Two women who witnessed the incident told the NHK approached behind when he was delivering his speech. The first gunshot was heard, appeared to be injured, the nobody witnesses said. When the second shot was fired Abe fell to the ground and people hit to treat him.

Abe’s scheduled speech had been publicized on Thursday evening.

Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi are among the latest to release statements following this morning’s shooting.

In a Facebook post, Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen wrote:

I believe everyone is as surprised and sad as I am. Taiwan and Japan are both democratic countries with rule of law. On behalf of the government, I would like to severely condemn violent and illegal acts.
Former Prime Minister Abe is not only a good friend of mine, but also a staunch friend of Taiwan’s. He has supported Taiwan for many years and spared no effort to promote the progress of Taiwan-Japan relations.

Teuku Faizasyah, Indonesia’s foreign ministry spokesman on behalf of Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, said in a statement:

The minister has expressed her sympathies in the name of G20 foreign ministers to the Japanese foreign minister.

Justin McCurry

Justin McCurry

Media reports quoted police as saying that the weapon thought to have been used in the attack was homemade. A photograph showed two cylindrical metal parts that appeared to have been heavily bound with black tape lying on the road near the scene of the attack.

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