World Leaders React to the Assassination of Shinzo Abe Former PM of Japan
By: Ahmed Fathi
World leaders expressed shock and sadness following the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whom they characterized as a "towering global statesman" with a "global influence."
Abe was shot during a campaign rally in Nara on Friday morning. He was brought to the hospital but died later that day. He was 67.
In connection with the incident, one individual has been arrested.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
"He was working for peace and stability in Japan and the world," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at a press conference. "He was a dear friend who loved this country ... To lose such a figure in this manner is absolutely devastating."
U.S. President Joe Biden
I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and killed while campaigning. This is a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him. I had the privilege to work closely with Prime Minister Abe. As Vice President, I visited him in Tokyo and welcomed him to Washington. He was a champion of the Alliance between our nations and the friendship between our people. The longest serving Japanese Prime Minister, his vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure.
U.S Secretary of State Tony Blinken
"This is shocking. It's profoundly disturbing ... It's also such a strong personal loss for so many people. In the United States, Prime Minister Abe was an extraordinary partner. And someone who clearly was a great leader for Japan," Blinken told reporters in Indonesia, where he is attending a G20 gathering of foreign ministers.
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres
"“I’m deeply saddened by the horrific killing of Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of Japan. I had the privilege of knowing him for years & will always remember his collegiality & commitment to multilateralism. My condolences to his family, and the people & Government of Japan.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
"Deeply saddened by the heinous killing of Shinzo Abe, a defender of democracy and my friend & colleague over many years. My deepest condolences to his family, PM @kishida230 & the people of #NATO’s partner #Japan at this difficult time," Stoltenberg tweeted.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi
"Italy is shocked by this terrible attack, which hits Japan and free democratic debate. Abe was a great protagonist of Japanese and international political life in recent decades, thanks to his innovative spirit and his reforming vision. Italy sends its condolences to his family, to the government and to the entire Japanese people."
Taiwan President TSAI ING-WEN
"Not only has the international community lost an important leader, but Taiwan has also lost an important and close friend. Taiwan and Japan are both democratic countries with the rule of law, and our government severely condemns violent and illegal acts," Tsai said in a statement released by her office.
South Korea President YOON SUK-YEOL.
"I send my condolences to the bereaved families and Japanese people who have lost the longest-serving prime minister and respected politician in Japan's constitutional history," Yoon was quoted as saying in a statement delivered by the presidential office.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
"I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe. He was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place," Modi tweeted, adding that one day of national mourning will be observed on Saturday.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa
"Deeply saddened by the tragic death of former #Japan PM Shinzo Abe. Japan has lost a highly respected politician. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family, the LDP & to the people of Japan," Rajapaksa wrote on Twitter.
Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs
"Mr. Abe was greatly admired by many Filipinos. We thank him for his key role in the strengthening of Philippines-Japan relations and for establishing a very deep bond of friendship with our country," the department tweeted.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson
"Incredibly sad news about Shinzo Abe. 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," Johnson tweeted.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Albanese in a statement called Abe's death "devastating news." Abe was a "giant on the world stage" and his legacy is one of "global impact, and a profound and positive one for Australia," he added.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
"Deeply saddened by the tragic death of Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of #Japan and an outstanding champion for #HealthForAll. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the people of Japan. He will be greatly missed," Tedros posted on Twitter.
French President Emmanuel Macron
"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," Macron tweeted.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
"Even in these difficult hours, we stand close to Japan," Scholz tweeted.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
"A wonderful person, great democrat and champion of the multilateral world order has passed away. I mourn with his family, his friends and all the people of Japan. This brutal and cowardly murder of @AbeShinzo shocks the whole world," she tweeted.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
"Horrible news of a brutal assassination of former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. I am extending my deepest condolences to his family and the people of Japan at this difficult time. This heinous act of violence has no excuse," Zelensky tweeted.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid
"The State of Israel mourns the death of former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe following today’s horrific attack. He was a fierce & distinguished leader and a key architect of modern Israel-Japan relations," Lapid tweeted.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
"I am deeply saddened by the death of my dear friend Shinzo Abe, Former Prime Minister of Japan, as a result of an armed attack. I condemn those who carried out this heinous attack," Erdoğan posted on Twitter.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte
"Former Japanese PM Abe has died, following a cowardly attack. At today’s cabinet meeting we paused to reflect on this dark day for Japanese democracy. I have fond memories of our friendship and the work we did together. My thoughts are with his loved ones and the people of Japan," Rutte tweeted.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.