Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Former Japan's PM in "Grave Condition" after Assassination Attempt

Fri 08 Jul 2022 | 11:06 AM
Omnia Ahmed

Japan's ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in critical condition after being shot in the chest during a speech in the city of Nara on Friday in what seems to be an assassination attempt, media outlets reported.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida described Abe as being in a “serious condition,” and a Nara official noted that the former leader is no longer showing vital signs.

Videos of the incident showed two shots being fired. Japan is known to have one of the strictest gun control laws in the world.

Meanwhile, police arrested the man suspected of attacking Abe on suspicion of attempted murder, and the gun was confiscated, according to the broadcaster. NHK identified the man as Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old resident of the Japanese city of Nara.

Shortly after flying back to the Prime Minister’s Office from Yamagata Prefecture by helicopter, Kishida said that doctors are doing everything they can to save Abe’s life.

“It was a despicable, barbaric act that happened during election campaigning, the foundation of democracy,” Kishida told reporters. “It is an unforgivable act.”

Moreover, he ordered ministers campaigning outside of Tokyo to return to the capital immediately, and that he will convene a Cabinet meeting later Friday.

High school students who witnessed the shooting told NHK that a man came up from behind and fired two shots.

“The first shot sounded like a toy bazooka, and the man then stepped back after the first one,” a student said. After the attacker fired the second shot, a large amount of white smoke appeared, she added.

World leaders voiced concern and anguish over the heinous act. On his part, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Washington was “deeply saddened and deeply concerned" over the attempted killing of Abe.

“Our thoughts, our prayers are with him, with his family, with the people of Japan. This is a very, very sad moment," Blinken said on the sidelines of the Group of 20 rich and developing nations meeting on Indonesia's Bali island.