Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed solidarity with Japan following the shooting of former PM Shinzo Abe, which he described as “shocking news”.

Mr Abe was rushed to hospital after Friday’s attack, which happened while he was campaigning in the Japanese city of Nara.

A 41-year-old male suspect was arrested for attempted murder, according to Japan’s public broadcaster.

“Shocking news from Japan that former PM Shinzo Abe has been shot,” Mr Albanese said on Twitter.

“Our thoughts are with his family and the people of Japan at this time.”

Japan’s ambassador to Australia Yamagami Shingo said he was shocked by the news from his home country.

“Such an outrageous act should never be condoned,” he said.

“We are following the situation with great concern and we are praying for him.”

Mr Albanese’s predecessors also showed their support, with former prime minister Scott Morrison saying his prayers were with Mr Abe and his family.

“I am deeply distressed to hear reports of the alleged attack on former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe,” he said on Facebook.

“PM Abe is a great and wise friend of Australia and one of the most important global leaders of the post-war era.”

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was horrified by the news, calling Mr Abe “one of the great leaders of our times”.

“Right now we must hope and pray that he pulls through,” he said.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd expressed solidarity with Japan.

“An attack on any democratically elected political leader is an attack on supporters of democracy everywhere,” he said.

“Shinzo Abe has been a dynamic political leader of Japan over many years and we all hope that he will recover and resume his important responsibilities in the Diet.”

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton tweeted that his thoughts and prayers were with Mr Abe and his family.

“He is a man of incredible decency and a great ally to Australia,” he said.

“A shocking act of violence which has no place in any society.”