Local media identified the man as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, citing police sources, with several media outlets describing him as a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, the country’s navy.
A large bang
Witnesses at the scene described shock as the political event turned into chaos.
“He was giving a speech and a man came from behind,” a young woman at the scene told NHK.
“The first shot sounded like a toy bazooka. He didn’t fall and there was a large bang. The second shot was more visible, you could see the spark and smoke,” she added.
“After the second shot, people surrounded him and gave him a cardiac massage.”
Abe was bleeding from the neck, witnesses said and photographs showed. He was reportedly initially conscious but subsequently lost consciousness, NHK reported.
An official at Nara Medical University hospital told AFP: “What we can share now is that his transfer here has been completed,” declining to comment on Abe’s status.
Officials from the local chapter of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party said there had been no threats before the incident and that his speech had been announced publicly.