The body of Shinzo Abe, the slain former Japanese prime minister, was returned to Tokyo on Saturday afternoon accompanied by his wife.

A hearse from the western city of Nara, where he was treated after being shot from behind by a gunman during a Friday campaign speech, arrived at his residence in Tokyo.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited the home to express condolences.

Japanese media said a wake for Abe, 67, would be held on Monday, with a funeral for close relatives the next day.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) – the party that Abe once led – and other parties vowed not to let the assassination interfere with the democratic process.

Abe, 67, the longest-serving premier in Japanese history, succumbed to his injuries after around five hours of treatment.

Abe sustained injuries to the right side of his neck when a 41-year-old assailant opened fire on him early Friday.

Abe was delivering a speech seeking votes for a ruling Liberal Democratic Party candidate in Sunday’s elections to the upper house of the country's parliament.

The man who fatally shot Abe has told police that he initially planned to attack the leader of a religious group, according to the Kyodo News Agency.

Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, believed his mother had gone bankrupt due to donations to a religious group, according to sources investigating Abe's assassination.

Ahead of Sunday's House of Councillors election, the suspect had repeatedly visited locations where Abe delivered campaign speeches, the sources added.