/Shinzo Abe, former Japanese prime minister, assassinated during speech | USA TODAY

Shinzo Abe, former Japanese prime minister, assassinated during speech | USA TODAY


Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, died after being shot during a campaign speech.

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Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister , died at the age of 67 Friday after being shot during a campaign speech in western Japan, hospital officials confirmed. Japan’s NHK Television earlier reported Abe’s death. It was a shocking attack in a country that has some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere.

Abe was shot from behind minutes after he started his speech Friday in Nara in western Japan. Local fire department official Makoto Morimoto said Abe was in cardio and pulmonary arrest after being shot. His heart stopped while he was being airlifted to a hospital, Morimoto said. He was pronounced dead later at the hospital.

Police arrested a male suspect at the scene of the shooting in Nara, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters. According to NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, was arrested.

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