[guest post by JVW]
Story being covered on Japan Today, an English-language Japanese news site:
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was unconscious after being shot by an unidentified gunman while giving a stump speech on a western Japan road on Friday morning, police and firefighters said.
The former leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party was shot from behind while visiting the city of Nara as part of campaigning for the House of Councillors election scheduled on Sunday.
Police detained the assailant at the scene.
Abe fell to the ground after two apparent gunshots were heard and was rushed to hospital.
CNN, quoting the Japanese public broadcaster NHK, reports that the former PM was taken to Nara Medical University. No further news has emerged as of this posting. Abe has suffered from various health ailments in the past couple of decades, including colitis, which forced him to step down as prime minister in 2020.
UPDATE, 9:11 pm – Fox news claims that NHK reported that Abe did not appear to have any vital signs before being carried off in the ambulance.
UPDATE, 9:20 pm – According to Reuters, also quoting a local Japanese news organization, Abe was shot in the left side of his chest and in his neck with a shotgun.
UPDATE, 9:21 pm – Not good: “An official from the Nara City Fire Department has confirmed to CNN that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest when he collapsed while giving a campaign speech in Nara.”
UPDATE 9:31 pm – On the other hand, a hopeful sign: “Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was conscious and responsive while being transported to the hospital after the possible shooting, according to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK, citing police sources.”
UPDATE 10:01 pm – I’m going to call it a night. Here’s hoping I wake up tomorrow to news of Mr. Abe’s steady recovery.
UPDATE 8:10 am Friday – Sadly, Shinzo Abe has died.