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Friday, July 8, 2022

Former Japanese PM Abe Shinzo confirmed dead

Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo (NHK)

JAPAN'S LIBERAL Democratic Party officials say former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has died after being shot during a speech Friday in the western city of Nara.

An NHK reporter on site heard what sounded like two gunshots at around 11:30 a.m. She saw Abe collapse and bleed, before he was taken to hospital.

Police sources say Abe was likely hit from behind by shotgun fire. Emergency officials say he was taken to hospital without vital signs.

Police say they have arrested a 41-year-old man Yamagami Tetsuya who is responsible for the shooting. Defense Ministry sources say he worked for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force for three years up to 2005.

Abe is the leader of the largest faction in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and wields great influence.

He was in Nara to campaign for a candidate in this weekend's Upper House election.

NHK political commentator Masuda Tsuyoshi says the incident is sending shockwaves across Abe was Japan's longest-serving prime minister. He was 67. (NHK, Mindanao Examiner)