Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe shot during speech: reports

LATEST @ 4.30PM The former Prime Minister of Japan is fighting for life in hospital after an assassination attempt.

Shinzo Abe was speaking at a campaign rally in Nara when two gunshots were fired.

Current Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has addressed the media this afternoon, confirming Mr Abe is in a “critical condition”.


“At this moment, doctors are working very hard to save Mr. Abe,” Mr Kishida says.

“This is a very foundation of democracy, and such an incident took place. It is barbaric and malicious, and it cannot be tolerated.

“The government will anticipate every possible situation and take necessary responses.”

A 41-year-old man suspected of carrying out the shooting has been arrested.

The suspect is reported to have been a former Maritime Self-Defence Force member and is currently in police custody.

Image: @SumitLegal Twitter

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has described the news as “shocking”.

While other Australian leaders have shown solidarity, posting to social media and addressing media.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott told  Nine Mr Abe is “Japan’s greatest post-war leader” and “Japan’s greatest ever friend to Australia”.

While former Prime Minister Scott Morrison released a statement to Facebook saying he is “deeply distressed”.

“PM Abe is a great and wise friend of Australia and one of the most important global leaders of the post war era,” the statement reads.

“Our prayers are with him, his wife Akie and the people of Japan at this very difficult time.”

More to come.

EARLIER @ 1.45PM The former Prime Minister of Japan has been rushed to hospital after reportedly being shot at a campaign rally.

Shinzo Abe was delivering a speech in the city of Nara when apparent gunshots were heard.

The 67-year-old then collapsed to the ground, with local media reporting he was bleeding from the neck.

He has been rushed to hospital, but was reportedly not showing any vital signs.

A man, believed to be in his 40s, was tackled to the ground at the scene and arrested.

More to come.