Dutch PM "deeply shocked" by attack on former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe
Update at 1:00 p.m. - Updated article to add another quote by Prime Minister Rutte.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is "deeply shocked and saddened" by the attack on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe was shot at a campaign speech in the city of Nara on Friday morning. He succumbed to his injuries in a hospital, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.
"I am deeply shocked and saddened by the awful attack on my friend," Rutte said on Twitter. "Our thoughts are with his loved ones and the people of Japan." After the news that Abe had died, he added: "At today’s cabinet meeting we paused to reflect on this dark day for Japanese democracy. I have fond memories of our friendship and the work we did together."
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs also responded on Twitter. "Horrified and shocked after the cowardly attack on Shinzo Abe. My sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones. I have conveyed my deepest sympathy with Japan to Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi."
A gunman shot the 67-year-old Abe from behind on the street where he was giving a campaign speech at around 11:30 a.m. local time, 4:30 a.m. Dutch time. Abe was rushed to a hospital with gunshot wounds to the chest and neck, according to broadcaster NOS.
The suspected shooter was arrested. According to local media, the suspect is a 41-year-old former soldier who used a homemade firearm in the attack.