By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 08 July 2022 • 10:54
HUGE iconic TV show set to make comeback on new channel five years after being scrapped
Although the election will continue on Sunday, most political parties in Japan have suspended campaigning as a show of respect for the former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who remains in a critical state in a local hospital.
A 41-year-old Nara City resident Yamagami Tetsuya has been arrested for the attempted murder with a gun seized at the scene appearing to be homemade.
No formal confirmation of Abe’s condition has been released with an update expected later today.
According to public broadcaster NHK on the morning of July 8, Abe was giving a campaign speech outside a train station in the western city of Nara when the incident happened.
By-standers said shots were heard and a white puff of smoke was seen before Abe collapsed on the street. Footage aired by NHK shows the incident as it does several security guards racing to his aid.
A Nara City Fire Department spokesperson said Abe was in cardiopulmonary arrest before he was taken to hospital and that he appeared to have been shot from behind, once through the left of his chest and the other near his neck.
The suspected shooter has been arrested according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno: “A barbaric act like this is absolutely unforgivable, no matter what the reasons are, and we condemn it strongly.”
Abe, who remains a dominant presence in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), is said to control one of the party’s major factions. The former prime minister who is 67, was one of Japan’s longest-serving leaders before stepping down in 2020 due to ill health.
His campaign speech was being given in support of his protégé, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who faces an upper house election on Sunday.
The motive for the shooting has not yet been confirmed however the news has prompted an international response with US ambassador Rahm Emanuel saying: “The US government and American people are praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, and the people of Japan.”
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted: “Shocking news from Japan that former PM Shinzo Abe has been shot – our thoughts are with his family and the people of Japan at this time.”
With the motive still unclear, the suspected assassination attempt on former prime minister Ave Shnzo will send shockwaves through Japan’s political establishment.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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