The former prime minister was taken to hospital in grave condition after a gunman injured him during a public appearance in the city of Nara in western Japan.
Witnesses announced the gunman fired on Abe from behind and reported hearing two loud bangs before seeing the former leader collapse on stage. He was quickly taken to hospital but succumbed to his injuries.
Abe, 67, had been delivering a stump speech near a train station in Nara when he was shot by an assailant. He was campaigning as a candidate in an upcoming parliamentary election.
Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, Abe resigned in 2020 due to health issues but remained an influential political figure, and was speaking on behalf of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party when he was shot.