Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan's longest-serving leader, was in grave condition on Friday after being shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election, with media saying a man opened fire with an apparently homemade gun.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the shooting in the western city of Nara in the "strongest terms" while Japanese people and world leaders expressed shock at the assassination attempt in a country in which political violence is rare and guns are tightly controlled.
Struggling to keep his emotions in check, Kishida said Abe, 67, was in grave condition. "Everything that can be done is being done to revive him. I'm praying from the depths of my heart that his life will be saved," Kishida told reporters, adding he was not aware of any motive.
"This attack is an act of brutality that happened during the elections - the very foundation of our democracy - and is absolutely unforgivable."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the tragic demise of former Japanese PM. The Prime Minister said that Abe was a "towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator."
I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe. He was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 8, 2022