Shinzo Abe shot: Japan’s former prime minister ‘shows no vital signs’, emergency services say – live | Japan

Key events:

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 think everyone is just as surprised and sad as I am. Taiwan and Japan are both democratic countries with a rule of law. On behalf of my government, I want to strongly condemn violent and illegal acts.
Former Prime Minister Abe is not only a good friend of mine, but also a loyal friend of Taiwan. He has supported Taiwan for many years and spared no effort to further the progress of Taiwan-Japan relations.

Teuku Faizasyah, spokesman for the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on behalf of Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, said in a statement:

The minister expressed her condolences to the Japanese foreign minister on behalf of the G20 foreign ministers.

Justin McCurry

Justin McCurry

According to media reports, police said the weapon allegedly used in the attack was homemade. A photo showed two cylindrical metal pieces that appeared to be tied up with black tape near the site of the attack on the road.

Justin McCurry

Justin McCurry

Japan has a near “zero tolerance” for gun ownership — an approach that experts say contributes to its extremely low gun crime rate. According to the National Police Agency, there were six firearms deaths in Japan in 2014, rarely more than 10 in a country of 126 million. In 2006, only two people were killed in firearms attacks.

The Swords and Firearms Possession Act of 1958 states, “No one shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords.”

One of the few exceptions are shotguns for hunting and sport. Even then, prospective owners must take classes and pass written and practical exams. They then have to undergo psychological assessments to determine if they are fit to own a firearm. The police’s background checks are exhaustive and even include questioning the relatives of the gun owners.

Civil possession of pistols is prohibited. The few violations reported in the media usually involve members of the country’s yakuza crime syndicates. According to police, there were 21 arrests for firearms use in 2020, 12 of which were gang-related, Nikkei Asia reported.

Here’s another response from Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanian said his thoughts are with Shinzo Abe’s family and the people of Japan.

Shocking news from Japan that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been shot – our thoughts are with his family and the people of Japan at this time

— Anthony Albanian (@AlboMP) July 8, 2022

Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described Shinzo Abe as “one of the most important world leaders of the post-war era”.

Morrison wrote in a statement on Facebook:

I am deeply shocked by the reports of the alleged attack on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. PM Abe is a great and wise friend of Australia and one of the most important world leaders of the post-war era. Our prayers are with him, his wife Akie and the people of Japan at this very difficult time

Moments of attack are captured on images from mobile phones

We just launched some video footage of the incident where Abe was shot.

Shinzo Abe, Former Japanese Prime Minister, Shot During Speech – Video

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he is shocked to hear of the shooting, describing Shinzo Abe as “one of the great leaders of our time”.

Shocked by this terrible news from Japan. Abe Shinzo is one of the great leaders of our time. At this point, we must hope and pray that he makes it.

— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) July 8, 2022

Justin McCurry

Justin McCurry

Japanese media has said the country’s former prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is in a state of cardiac arrest after apparently being shot during a campaign speech in western Japan on Friday.

National broadcaster NHK has quoted firefighters as saying he has no vital signs.

There have been no updates on Abe’s condition since the incident happened nearly two hours ago. Japanese media often use the term “in a state of heart failure” to describe situations where the victim is no longer alive, but a doctor has yet to sign his death certificate. It is not clear at this time whether this has happened in Abe’s case.

The United States is “saddened and shocked” by the shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, US Ambassador Rahm Emanuel said Friday.

“Abe-san is an outstanding leader of Japan and an unwavering ally of the United States,” Emanuel said in a statement.

“The US government and the American people pray for the well-being of Abe-san, his family and the people of Japan.”

Abe was in the western city of Nara near Osaka when he was attacked on Friday.

Nara, Japan

Map of Nara

Justin McCurry

Justin McCurry

Japanese Private Secretary, Hirokazu Matsunodescribed the attack as “unforgivable, adding that the Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, canceled campaign stops in northeast Japan and returned to the Liberal Democrat party headquarters in Tokyo.

What we know so far

  • Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe has been rushed to hospital after he was apparently shot while giving a speech in western Japan.
  • Abe reportedly suffering from heart failure, where the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. According to the Associated Press, the term is sometimes used by officials in Japan to describe situations where victims are no longer alive, but before a formal death certificate has been issued.
  • Abe was sent to a hospital and appears to have no vital signs, This is reported by the Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
  • Police arrested a male suspect on the spot on suspicion of attempted murder, according to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
  • Abe had been in the city of Nara to deliver a campaign speech ahead of Sunday’s upper house elections when gunshots were heard.
  • NHK public television broadcast showing Abe collapsing in the street as several guards rush toward him. Abe held onto his chest as he collapsed, and his shirt was covered in blood.

Hi, Rebecca Ratcliffe here.

Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe is in a “state of cardiac arrest” after he was apparently shot during a campaign speech in western Japan on Friday.

Read our latest report from my colleague Justin McCurry in Tokyo here.

In this live blog we bring you more updates.

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