By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, has been shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Abe, 67, was in grave condition. Earlier, a hospital official said Abe appeared to be in a state of cardiac arrest when airlifted to hospital, after having initially been conscious and responsive.
Police said a 41-year-old man suspected of carrying out the shooting had been arrested. Reports quoted the suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, as telling police he was dissatisfied with Abe and wanted to kill him.
“Such an act of barbarity cannot be tolerated,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters, adding that Abe had been shot at about 11:30 a.m. (0230 GMT).
Local media showed video of Abe making a campaign speech outside a train station when two shots rang out, after which the view was briefly obscured and then security officials were seen tackling a man in a grey T-shirt and beige trousers. A puff of smoke behind Abe could be seen in another video.
Another media published a photograph showing Abe lying face-up on the street by a guardrail, blood on his white shirt. People were crowded around him, one administering heart massage.
Local Television reported that Abe had been shot on the left side of his chest and apparently also in the neck.
Political violence is rare in Japan, a country with strict gun regulations.
In 2007 the major of Nagasaki was shot and killed by a yakuza gangster. The head of the Japan Socialist Party was assassinated during a speech in 1960 by a right-wing youth with a samurai short sword.