World leaders mourn the assassination of their “friend” Shinzo Abe
World leaders past and present mourned the loss of, after the man many called their friend was assassinated during an election campaign in western Japan on Friday. Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, turned 67.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Abe’s murder was “incredibly shocking” and that he was “deeply saddened”.
“The world has lost a great man of vision and Canada has lost a close friend,” Trudeau tweeted. “My thoughts are with his wife Akie and the people of Japan who are mourning this loss. You will be missed my friend.”
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol sent his condolences to Japan and condemned the attack.
“I extend my condolences to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s family and the Japanese people,” he said. the South Korean leader tweeted. “An act of terrorism during an election is a brutal attack on the very foundations of democracy. It is absolutely unacceptable and I strongly condemn such an attack.”
“Incredibly sad news” tweeted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a day after announcing he would be . “His global leadership in unknown times will be remembered by many. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the Japanese people. The UK stands with him at this dark and sad time.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted his “deepest condolences” to Abe’s family and the Japanese people.
“This heinous act of violence has no excuse” Zelenskyy tweeted.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Japan had “lost a great Prime Minister who dedicated his life to his country and worked to bring balance to the world”. expression translated from French.
In the US, the presidents of both parties expressed their sadness at the shooting, citing the strong US-Japan partnership led by Abe.
“I am stunned, outraged and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot dead while campaigning,” President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday morning. “This is a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him. I have had the privilege of working closely with Prime Minister Abe. As Vice President, I visited him in Tokyo and welcomed him to Washington. He was an advocate of the alliance between our nations and the friendship between our peoples.”
Mr. Biden added that gun violence “always leaves a deep scar” on affected communities and “the United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief.”
The President also stopped at the Japanese Ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC, on Friday afternoon to leave a letter of condolence. A picture of the note was shared by a reporter traveling with the president.
Mr Biden earlier Friday said he tried to call Fumio Kishida, Japan’s prime minister, whom he described as a “very solid man” and he described Japan as a “very stable ally”.
“Former Prime Minister Abe was devoted both to the country he served and to the extraordinary alliance between the United States and Japan,” Obama said in a statement. “I will always remember the work we did to strengthen our alliance, the moving experience of traveling to Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor together, and the grace he and his wife Akie Abe gave to me and Michelle have brought. Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan who are on our hearts at this painful moment.”
Former President Donald Trump, who played golf with Abe on multiple occasions and forged an alliance with him, called the initial news that Abe had been shot “absolutely devastating” in a statement on his social media site Truth Social.
“He was a true friend of mine and, more importantly, of America,” Trump said before confirming Abe’s death. “This is a huge blow to the people of Japan who loved and admired him so much.”