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Japan's ex-PM Shinzo Abe shot at, critical

He was speaking at an election rally at 11:30 on Friday morning in the city of Nara, western Japan. Shooter was caught. Polling for the Parliament’s Upper House is on Sunday.

TOKYO, July 8: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot at while speaking at an election rally at 11:30 on Friday morning in the city of Nara, western Japan. The shooter wss nabbed on the spot.

At the hospital he was described as having had a heart failure, which in medical terminology could also mean death, it is reported. He is not showing any vital signs. He suffered cardiopulmonary arrest.

Abe, 67, was shot from 10 feet away, twice. One report said he was shot in the chest. One bullet hit his chest to the left and the other in the neck. Abe collapsed on stage in the middle of his speech. He was speaking on a street outside the railway station. He was bleeding as he was rushed to a hospital and appeared to have suffered a cardiac arrest.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that Abe was in a "very grave condition". He was in tears.

Electioneering is going on for Sunday’s polling for the Parliament’s Upper House.

The shooter has been identified as one Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, believed to be a former military man belonging to the area. He was pinned to the ground immediately by the security men. He had fired from a shotgun. He told investigators later he was dissatisfied with Abe and aimed to kill him.

Political violence is rare in Japan.

During his prime ministership, Abne had brought in what has been called as “Abenomics” policy. He introduced bold economic reforms of monetary easing and fiscal spending. He came to office in 2006.

He had propounded the idea of an “Indo-Pacific” cooperation involving Japan, the US, India and Australia (QUAD).

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Deeply distressed by the attack on my dear friend Abe Shinzo. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and the people of Japan.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, now attending the G20 meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali, expressed deep concern over the incident. He said, “Our thoughts, our prayers are with him, with his family, with the people of Japan,” agencies reported.

In India, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, "He has been instrumental in deepening Indo-Japanese ties. Prayers for his recovery."

Abe served as Prime Minister of Japan and president of the Liberal Democratic Party from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020. He was the longest-serving Prime Minister in Japanese history. Abe had stepped down on health grounds.

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