Japanese Premier Fumio Kishida rushed back to Tokyo after learning that former Premier Shinzo Abe was wounded during an address in Nara on Friday morning. The prime minister was severely injured. When Kishida arrived three hours after the incident, he attended an emotional news conference , declaring that the incident was “not a forgivable act” and that Abe was in critical condition and doctors were “fighting to save” him.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK stated that Abe had been in a condition of cardiopulmonary arrest, as per an official of Nara City Fire Department. Sources from the Nara City Police Department said that Abe was awake and alert when he was taken to hospital.
Kishida added that the country is “trying to comprehend this tough situation” and that the authorities will “take appropriate measures to handle the situation.”
The Tokyo-based CNN reporter Junko Ogura said Abe “suffered a gunshot wound to the right side of his neck,” citing the Fire and Disaster Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in Tokyo reports. Meanwhile, reports on NHK claimed that he also was wounded in the chest.
NHK also stated that police took Tetsuya Yamagami into custody, a Nara citizen in his late 40s, for the shooting. The media reports claim that the suspect admitted to police that they were “dissatisfied with Abe and wanted to kill him.” After killing Abe, Yamagami didn't attempt to flee, and was eventually dragged into the floor by security. Police seized a gun that NHK said appeared to be made by hand, but there's no official confirmation as to the kind of gun.
Abe was giving an address in the middle of a railway station outside Nara. He was about to begin the speech, when two gunshots were fired.
World leaders are posting their prayers through Twitter (or via other platforms for social media in instances like Donald Trump).
Other leaders send well-wishes to the president as per CNN:
Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen, also from Taiwan, condemned the shooting in a Facebook post, calling Abe a true friend.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard wrote on Twitter that he was deeply disappointed by the shooting. “We hope that he can overcome the serious medical situation in which he finds himself,” Ebrard wrote.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with your family and the people of Japan,” wrote Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, on Twitter.
The Finnish president Sauli Niinisto also tweeted that the president felt “deeply shocked” by the “violent attack,” extending his condolences to Abe's family as well as the Japanese nation.
The Pakistani Premier Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that he is surprised by “sad news,” adding: “We send our prayers & best wishes for his early recovery & good health.”
The president of the European Council, Charles Michel described the shooting as a “cowardly attack,” praising Abe as “a true friend, fierce defender of multilateral order & democratic values.”
US Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, posted his well-wishes shortly following the shooting that was reported to have occurred at 11:30pm Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday.
At the press time ( 3:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Friday) there is no information from the White House at all about the attempt to assassinate Japan's longest-serving prime minister.