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    Former Japan PM has been confirmed dead

    TOKYO, Japan (THEJAPANNEWS/ANN/AP) — Japan’s NHK television says former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has died after being shot during a campaign speech.

    Abe was shot from behind minutes after he started his speech Friday in Nara in western Japan. He was airlifted to a hospital for emergency treatment but was not breathing and his heart had stopped. He was pronounced dead later at the hospital.

    The 67-year-old Abe was Japan’s longest-serving leader before stepping down for health reasons in 2020.

    Police arrested the suspected gunman at the scene of the attack, which shocked people in a country known as one of the world’s safest.

    Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, of Nara City, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder. Yamagami is believed to have shot Abe at close range and a gun has been recovered, according to a police officer.

    In this image from a video, Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, falls on the ground in Nara, western Japan Friday, July 8, 2022. Abe was shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan and was airlifted to a hospital but he was not breathing and his heart had stopped, officials said. (Kyodo News via AP)

    Witnesses said they head a firework-like sound while Abe was giving a speech while surrounded by hundreds of people.

    A Yomiuri Shimbun reporter at the scene said the former Liberal Democratic Party president arrived at the stump speech venue in front of the station at about 11:20 am. Shortly after taking hold of a microphone to introduce an LDP candidate, a man holding an elongated tube-like object approached the former prime minister from behind, and loud sounds were heard immediately afterward, according to witnesses.

    Tetsuya Yamagami, bottom, is detained near the site of gunshots in Nara Prefecture, western Japan, Friday, July 8, 2022. AP

    The scene became chaotic as people screamed and called for an ambulance and medical personnel.

    More details on Borneo Bulletin Weekend

     

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