Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot and critically wounded during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan. The arch-conservative leader was airlifted to a hospital but officials said he was not breathing and his heart had stopped. He remains in critical condition. 

Abe, who is 67 and was Japan’s longest-serving leader before stepping down in 2020, was in cardio and pulmonary arrest as he was airlifted to the hospital, local fire department official Makoto Morimoto said.

Who is Shinzo Abe?

Shinzo Abe served as Japan’s longest post-war prime minister for eight years between 2012 and 2020. Prior to that, at the age of 52, he first became the prime minister in 2006. However, after a year he stepped down citing health concerns.

In August 2020, he resigned from the post citing health conditions and he was succeeded by fellow Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Yoshihide Suga, who Fumio Kishida later replaced.