Breaking news: Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in critical condition after shooting

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An aerial photo shows a man believed to be former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the stretcher at Nara Medical University Hospital in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture on July 8, 2022. Abe went on a stumping tour for supporting his party member in the House of Councillors Election. ??67-year-old Abe has reportedly been shot in the chest and he has been in a state of cardio-respiratory arrest. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in a statement Friday that the shooting of Shinzo Abe “cannot be forgiven.”

“First and foremost, I pray for the recovery of former Prime Minister Abe,” said Suga, who served from 2020 to 2021, in between Abe’s resignation and the election of current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

He added that the shooting was an act of “barbarity … that denies the basis of democracy, which is the election campaign, and cannot be forgiven by any means.”

Some context: Abe had been in the city of Nara delivering a speech in support of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidates, ahead of upcoming Upper House elections, when the shooting happened.