TOKYO  - A Japan district court has decided to reduce the length of the psychiatric evaluation of the man suspected of shooting former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, reversing an earlier extension of the process, Kyodo news agency reported on Friday.

Tetsuya Yamagami, an unemployed 42-year-old, has been identified by police as the suspect who approached Abe at a campaign speech on a street corner in the western city of Nara on July 8 and opened fire with a handmade gun.

The local court initially granted prosecutors' request to continue Yamagami's psychiatric evaluation until Feb. 6, extending it for an extra three months from the initial end date of Nov. 29.

Yamagami's defence appealed against the extension, claiming that an evaluation that "lasts over six months is much too long, and is illegal given that it is neither necessary nor reasonable," according to the Kyodo report.

The Nara district court decided on Friday to conclude the evaluation on Jan. 10, Kyodo said. Nara prosecutors were not available for comment outside of office hours. Yamagami's defence could not be reached.

(Reporting by Sakura Murakami Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)