Tokyo: Leaders across the world on Friday expressed grief and shock over the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Abe was shot while delivering a campaign speech in Nara city.
US President Joe Biden condoled the death of Abe saying he’s ‘stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news’.
Biden said he had the privilege to work ‘closely with PM Abe. As Vice President, he had visited him in Tokyo and welcomed him to Washington.’
He said that Abe was a ‘champion of the Alliance between our nations and the friendship between our people. The longest serving Japanese PM, his vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure.
Above all, he cared deeply about the Japanese people and dedicated his life to their service. Even at the moment he was attacked, he was engaged in the work of democracy.’
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres expressed his condoles in his tweet and said he had the ‘privilege of knowing him for years and will always remember his collegiality and commitment to multilateralism.’
Condoling his demise, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted: ‘The assassination of Abe leaves me shocked and deeply saddened. My deepest sympathy goes to his family, my colleague Fumio Kishida and our Japanese friends. We stand closely by Japan’s side in these difficult hours.’
Expressing his grief, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet, ‘On behalf of the French people, I send my condolences to the Japanese authorities and people after the assassination of Shinzo Abe. Japan is losing a great Prime Minister, who dedicated his life to his country and worked to bring balance to the world.”
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol also expressed condolences and consolation to the bereaved family and the Japanese people and described Abe as ‘a respected politician.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a tweet called Abe as a ‘wonderful person, great democrat and champion of the multilateral world’.
She said, ‘I mourn with his family, his friends and all the people of Japan. This brutal and cowardly murder of Abe shocks the whole world.’
Russian President Vladimir Putin also offered his condolences and said Abe was an ‘outstanding statesman” who “did a lot for the development of good neighbourly relations between our countries”.
“I wish you and your family strength and courage in the face of this heavy, irreplaceable loss,” Putin was quoted as saying on Telegram.
Outgoing British PM Boris Johnson said, ‘His global leadership through unchartered times will be remembered by many. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the Japanese people. The UK stands with you at this dark and sad time.”
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau also said he was ‘deeply saddened’ as he his country lost a ‘close friend’ and called the assassination of Abe ‘incredibly shocking’.
Trudeau tweeted, ‘The world has lost a great man of vision, and Canada has lost a close friend. My thoughts are with his wife, Akie, and the people of Japan as they mourn this loss. You’ll be missed, my friend.’
Israeli PM Yair Lapid said in a tweet ‘Abe was one of the most important leaders of modern Japan, and a true friend of Israel who brought about flourishing and prosperous relations between Israel and Japan.
His heinous murder will not change his distinguished legacy. Today, Israel bows its head and mourns the loss of Abe together with the people of Japan”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also extended his condolences to his family and the people of Japan and tweeted, ‘this heinous act of violence has no excuse.’
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa tweeted, ‘Japan has lost a highly respected politician. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family, the LDP and to the people of Japan.’