Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has collapsed in Nara, western Japan after shots were heard nearby.
Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was seen bleeding while campaigning at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, NHK initially reported. The former PM, who is 67, was campaigning for Liberal Democratic Party member Kentaro Asah, 46, when he collapsed during a speech he was giving on a crowded street in the city of Nara.
An NHK reporter who was present during the speech reported hearing a sound akin to a gunshot and witnessed the former prime minister bleeding. Police allegedly captured a suspect involved in the incident and may be questioning him.
Abe was rushed to the hospital following the possible shooting.
Twitter user Gordon Knight shared a video to the social media platform with the caption, “Shinzo Abe shot in the chest in Nara. Attacker caught.”
Shinzo Abe shot in the chest in Nara. Attacker caught. pic.twitter.com/WfkUDH9lfo
— Gordon Knight (@GordonlKnight) July 8, 2022
Abe was first elected to parliament in 1993 before becoming a cabinet member in 2005.
Abe hails from a family of politicians; his father was a foreign minister and his grandfather was a prime minister. A scandal involving the loss of 50 million pension records drew criticism to his administration, but despite battling health issues he is still known as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister.