JAPAN'S FORMER prime minister Shinzo Abe has died in hospital after he was shot at a political campaign event.
The news was confirmed by public broadcaster NHK and Jiji news agency.
“According to a senior LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) official, former prime minister Abe died at a hospital in Kashihara city, Nara region, where he was receiving medical treatment. He was 67,” NHK said.
Abe was shot at twice causing him to fall to the ground, while making a campaign speech ahead of this Sunday’s upper house elections.
Security officials at the scene tackled the gunman, and the 41-year-old suspect is now in police custody.
Prime minister Fumio Kishida condemned the attack, saying: "It is barbaric and malicious and it cannot be tolerated."
Abe was Japan's longest-serving prime minister until he resigned from the position in 2020.
The Taoiseach Micheál Martin earlier tweeted after news of the shooting broke, saying:
Deeply shocked at the gun attack on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Abe, his family and all the people of Japan.
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) July 8, 2022