Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was taken to hospital after the shooting; suspect arrested

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Forms Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was taken to the hospital bleeding after he was injured while performing on the street in Nara, western Japan on Friday, Japanese media reported.

According to Japanese media Kyodo News, 67-year-old Abe was unconscious and in cardiac arrest.

He appeared to show no vital signs, according to local firefighters, according to NHK. His condition is not specified.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters at his official residence in Tokyo on Monday, August 8.  January 24, 2020 Prime Minister Abe on Monday became Japan's longest-serving leader in terms of consecutive days in office, but it did not cause much hype as he visited the hospital for another medical check-up due to health concerns (Kyodo News via A.P.).

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters at his official residence in Tokyo on Monday, August 8. January 24, 2020 Prime Minister Abe on Monday became Japan’s longest-serving leader in terms of consecutive days in office, but it did not cause much hype as he visited the hospital for another medical check-up due to health concerns (Kyodo News via A.P.).

According to NHK, at the moment of Abe’s fall, there was a sound similar to a gunshot. Looks like he was shot from behind.

US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said in a statement: “We are all saddened and shocked by the assassination of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Abe-san was an outstanding leader of Japan and an unwavering ally of the United States. The US government and the American people pray for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, and the people of Japan.”

This aerial photograph shows the shooting scene in Nara, western Japan on Friday, July 8, 2022. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suffered heart failure after he was apparently injured during a campaign speech on Friday in western Japan, NHK public television reported Friday.  (Kyodo news via hotspot) (Kyodo news via hotspot)

This aerial photograph shows the shooting scene in Nara, western Japan on Friday, July 8, 2022. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suffered heart failure after he was apparently injured during a campaign speech on Friday in western Japan, NHK public television reported Friday. (Kyodo news via hotspot) (Kyodo news via hotspot)

He gave a campaign speech ahead of Sunday’s elections to the upper house of parliament.

People react to gunshots in Nara, western Japan, Friday, July 8, 2022 Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suffered heart failure after he was apparently injured during an election speech Friday in western Japan, NHK public television reported Friday.  (Kyodo news via AP)

People react to gunshots in Nara, western Japan, Friday, July 8, 2022 Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suffered heart failure after he was apparently injured during an election speech Friday in western Japan, NHK public television reported Friday. (Kyodo news via AP)
(Kyodo news via AP)

A suspect was arrested at the scene and a weapon was seized. NHK has identified the suspect as 41-year-old Yamagami Tetsuya.

According to Kyodo News, some candidates have canceled street appearances following reports of shootings.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends the plenary meeting of the lower house of parliament to elect the Prime Minister of Japan in Tokyo on November 10, 2021.  (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends the plenary meeting of the lower house of parliament to elect the Prime Minister of Japan in Tokyo on November 10, 2021. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

WARNING: GRAPHIC / VIDEO

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (center) falls to the ground in Nara, western Japan, on Friday, July 8, 2022.  Abe suffered heart failure after he was apparently injured during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, NHK public television reported Friday.  (Kyodo news via AP)

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (center) falls to the ground in Nara, western Japan, on Friday, July 8, 2022. Abe suffered heart failure after he was apparently injured during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, NHK public television reported Friday. (Kyodo news via AP)
(Kyodo news via AP)

Abe is Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. He served from 2006 to 2007 and again in 2012 until he retired in 2020 after his ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition, surfaced, calling his decision at the time “wrenching.”

During his term, he focused on the economy, rebuilding Japan’s military, and became a larger player in international affairs.

He was replaced by Fumio Kishida, who is reportedly planning to give a brief briefing on the shooting at some point.

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This is a breakthrough story. The Associated Press contributed to this report.