Suspect is in custody and Abe’s condition is unclear.

With the Upper House Election approaching on 10 July, many politicians are out on the streets giving campaign speeches as is the custom in Japan. So too, was former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who resigned from office in 2020, citing health issues, but retaining his seat as a member of the House of Representatives.

He was outside of Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Nara City, Nara Prefecture, on 8 July, stumping for a fellow party-mate running in the area. Abe was on the road speaking among banners and a small crowd of supporters when he appeared to have collapsed at about 11:40 a.m.

In the chaos that ensued, reports were unsure what happened. However, several posts on social media began to emerge, showing what appeared to be a man holding a gun pointed at the politician. Many people nearby also reported hearing shots.

The man in his 40s was said to have been arrested immediately afterward, but the attack is said to have triggered a heart attack and Abe’s condition is currently being assessed.

The sudden and brutal attack has left the country in shock with online comments amounting to little more than “What?!” and “Is this really happening?” In fact, even as I write this, the usual sounds of political speeches echoing through my window appear to have all gone completely silent.

Note: This is a breaking story, check back for more updates.

Source: MBS News, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Wikipedia/Lee Gok Da
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