TueWorld leaders paid tribute to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was fatally shot while campaigning for his political allies on Friday morning.
read more: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead. What do we know so far
With tears in his eyes, Fumio Kishida, the current Prime Minister of Japan, condemned the assassination when he appeared before Japanese reporters following the news of Abe’s death. Kishida described Abe as a “personal friend” with whom he spent a lot of time.
Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi, a good friend of Abe, announced that 9 July would be India’s national day of mourning as a sign of “deep respect” for the late Japanese leader. Modi recalled how he visited Abe during his last trip to Japan, noting that he did not expect this meeting to be their last.
Abe made great strides in improving diplomatic relations between Japan and India during his tenure, including signing historic civilian nuclear deal in 2016.
V statementsUS President Joe Biden said he was “stunned, outraged and deeply saddened” by the news. “Japan’s longest tenure as prime minister, his vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will remain in place.” But brought up Close relations with Washington in his almost ten-year rule.
European leaders including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron also offered their condolences. “We stood by Japan during these difficult hours,” Scholz said. tweeted. Japan has lost a great prime minister – Macron said.
European Council President Charles Michel denounced the “cowardly” attack on Abe, whom he called a “true friend” and “fierce defender of the multilateral order and democratic values.” The European Union is a major trade and investment partner for Japan.
In a statement, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Abe was one of Australia’s “closest friends on the world stage”. During his first term in 2007, Abe initiated a four-way alliance between Japan, India, the US and Australia that promoted security and economic cooperation.
Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that Abe’s “global leadership” will be remembered. “The UK stands with you in this dark and sad time,” he said.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted his “deepest condolences” to the Abe and Kishide family. Although Japan is not a member of NATO, Abe paved the way for a stronger partnership with the transatlantic alliance.
A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Japan expressed shock over Abe’s assassination. in a statement and expressed condolences to his family. During his premiership, Abe tried to improve relations between Japan and China, but his comments last year about Taiwan independence provoked criticism from Beijing.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen said in a statement that “the international community has lost an important leader, but Taiwan has also lost an important and close friend. Taiwan and Japan are democratic countries with the rule of law, and our government strongly condemns violent and illegal activities.”
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol offered his condolences to the Japanese people, condemning the shooting as an “unforgivable crime.”
Abe became Japan’s longest-serving prime minister before resigning in 2020 due to poor health. Nevertheless, he remained one of the most influential political figures in modern Japan.
On the streets of Tokyo, locals expressed disbelief. “The shooting of a prominent figure like Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, is deeply shocking,” Kanae Hayakawa, a 36-year-old office worker, told TIME. “And now I’m afraid – the fact that such an incident happened here in Japan reflects social instability and people’s dissatisfaction with society. I really hope the shooting incident doesn’t cause further instability here. And I’m also wondering how this incident will affect elections on Sunday.”
— With reporting by Mayako Shibata in Tokyo and Eloise Barry in London.
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