July 8, 2022 Shinzo Abe shot dead in Nara, Japan

By Jessie Yeung, Rhea Mogul, Helen Regan, Rob Picheta, Amy Woodyatt, Ed Upright, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT) July 9, 2022
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5:28 a.m. ET, July 8, 2022

Bullet that killed Abe was "deep enough to reach his heart," medical officials say

The Nara Medical University Hospital in Kashihara, Nara, is seen in western Japan on July 8.
The Nara Medical University Hospital in Kashihara, Nara, is seen in western Japan on July 8. (Kyodo/Reuters)

The bullet that killed former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe was "deep enough to reach his heart," doctors at Nara Medical University, who were treating him said in a news conference Friday.

Abe was bleeding profusely and doctors couldn't stop the bleeding, medical officials said.

5:17 a.m. ET, July 8, 2022

Abe pronounced dead, doctors confirm

Former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe is dead, the head of Nara Medical University, which was treating him, confirmed in a news conference Friday.

He was pronounced dead at 5:03 p.m. local time, the hospital official said.

Abe was shot earlier in the day during a speech in Nara.

5:08 a.m. ET, July 8, 2022

BREAKING: Former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe has died, NHK reports

Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seen in this Sept. 16, 2020 file image.
Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seen in this Sept. 16, 2020 file image. (Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has died after being shot during a speech on Friday in Nara, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing ruling Liberal Democratic Party sources.

5:18 a.m. ET, July 8, 2022

White House "shocked and saddened" by attack on Abe

From CNN’s Jeremy Diamond

The White House is "shocked and saddened" by the shooting of Shinzo Abe on Friday, a spokesperson told CNN.

“We are shocked and saddened to hear about the violent attack against former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. We are closely monitoring the reports and keeping our thoughts with his family and the people of Japan,” the spokesperson said on Friday, the first official reaction from the White House.
5:15 a.m. ET, July 8, 2022

China's Foreign Ministry sends well wishes to Abe

China's Foreign Ministry said it was "shocked" by the shooting of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"We are following the developments, and we hope former Prime Minister Abe will be out of danger and recover soon. We certainly would like to send our regards to his family," ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a news conference on Friday afternoon.

Zhao declined to comment on Chinese social media reactions to the shooting, saying: "I have just fully expressed the Chinese government’s position that this unexpected incident should not be associated with Sino-Japanese relations."

Some context: Chinese social media was flooded with gleeful comments following the shooting, with ultra-nationalist users gloating over the attack.

Relations between China and Japan deteriorated during Abe's time in office, worsened by a slow-burning dispute over sovereignty of disputed Japanese-administered islands known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Diaoyus in China.

Many Chinese users also criticized Abe for visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, regarded in China as a symbol of Japan's imperial military past.

The online schadenfreude was so unseemly that even some of the country's most prominent nationalist influencers felt compelled to speak out.

Hu Xijin, former editor-in-chief of the state-run nationalist tabloid the Global Times, expressed sympathy for Abe.

"I think at this moment we need to put aside our political disputes with him," he wrote on China's Twitter-like Weibo.
"Some people may say that I am 'pretending to be compassionate,' but as a veteran Chinese journalist, this is my firm public attitude in the field of public opinion. And I hope that more people will understand and join me in holding this attitude."

Jin Canrong, an international relations scholar known for his hawkish views, also weighed in. “I advise everyone to have some respect for life, to be patriotic and speak up in a rational way," he wrote on Weibo.

4:52 a.m. ET, July 8, 2022

Russian Foreign Ministry calls attack on Abe an "act of terrorism"

From CNN's Anna Chernova

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday she was "stunned by the news of the tragedy that occurred today in Japan."

“We are convinced that those who planned and committed this monstrous crime will bear the due measure of responsibility for this act of terrorism, which has no justification and cannot be justified,” she added. 

She praised Shinzo Abe as “an outstanding political figure who has made an invaluable contribution to the development of Russian-Japanese relations in all areas on the path of building mutual trust and good neighborliness," adding that she hoped his condition would stabilize soon.

4:22 a.m. ET, July 8, 2022

World leaders condemn "cowardly attack" on Abe as former PM undergoes emergency treatment

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong attend a welcoming ceremony hosted by Abe at the state guest house in Tokyo on September 28, 2016.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong attend a welcoming ceremony hosted by Abe at the state guest house in Tokyo on September 28, 2016. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

Shock and prayers from leaders around the world continue to flow in, as former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe remains in the hospital after being shot on Friday.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted that his thoughts were with Abe and his family, saying he was "deeply shocked by the heinous shooting."

French President Emmanuel Macron also tweeted that he was "deeply shocked." "Thoughts to the family and loved ones of a great Prime Minister. France stands alongside the Japanese people," Macron said.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach condemned the shooting as a "cowardly attack," adding: "I hope and pray that he will recover."

Other European leaders, including Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, and Ireland's leader Micheál Martin shared similar messages online.

Meanwhile in Asia, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong decried the shooting as "a senseless act of violence," saying he had recently hosted Abe for a lunch in May during a visit to Tokyo.

5:19 a.m. ET, July 8, 2022

Abe's wife arrives at the hospital where he is being treated

Akie Abe, wife of former Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, arrives by train in Nara before heading to the Nara Medical University Hospital in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture on July 8.
Akie Abe, wife of former Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, arrives by train in Nara before heading to the Nara Medical University Hospital in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture on July 8. (Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)

The wife of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has arrived at Nara Medical University, where he is being treated, according to Japan's public broadcaster NHK.

Abe's younger brother, Nobuo Kishi, also the country's Defense Minister, confirmed earlier that Abe is receiving a blood transfusion. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said this afternoon that Abe was in critical condition after the shooting.

4:07 a.m. ET, July 8, 2022

Abe's brother says former PM is receiving blood transfusion in hospital

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi is seen at the Pentagon on Wednesday May 4, in Washington.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi is seen at the Pentagon on Wednesday May 4, in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is receiving a blood transfusion, according to Nobuo Kishi, Abe's younger brother and the country's Defense Minister.

"I am told that he is now in a hospital in Nara, where he is receiving sensible treatment, including a blood transfusion," Kishi said.

Abe suffered a wound to the neck when he was shot on Friday morning in the city of Nara, according to officials. Kishi said the attack, which took place as Abe was delivering an election campaign speech, is “an affront to democracy” and suppression of “freedom of speech."