Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe died in hospital on Friday, local media reported, hours after being shot at a political campaign event in an attack condemned as “absolutely unforgivable”.
Citing a senior member of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, national broadcaster NHK said “former prime minister Abe died at a hospital in Kashihara city, Nara, where he was receiving medical treatment. He was 67.”
The death was also reported by other broadcasters as well as the Japanese news agencies Jiji and Kyodo.
The assassination of the country’s best-known politician comes despite Japan’s strict gun laws and with campaigning under way ahead of upper house elections on Sunday.
Earlier Prime Minister Fumio Kishida abandoned the campaign trail and flew to Tokyo by helicopter where he addressed reporters in a voice that wavered with emotion.