Global Leaders React to Fatal Shooting of Former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe

Shinzo Abe, the former Prime Minister of Japan, was reported to have died Friday after being shot during a campaign speech in Nara. He was 67.

Shinzo Abe is pictured giving a speech

Image via Getty/STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP

Shinzo Abe is pictured giving a speech

Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of Japan, died Friday after being fatally shot.

The assassination occurred early into a campaign speech in Nara, according to the Associated Press.

World leaders expressed shock over the killing, including current Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who called the attack “barbaric.”

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During a subsequent press conference, Prime Minister Kishida suggested an investigation into this “despicable act” was in progress.

“We are not yet fully aware of the background to this crime, but whatever it may be, it is a despicable act that took place in the middle of an election, the very essence of democracy, and is entirely unforgivable in my eyes,” he said. “I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.”

Abe was the country’s longest-running Prime Minister. According to local officials, perUSA Today, he was shot from behind just after starting Friday’s speech. While being transported to a nearby hospital, his heart stopped.

A suspect was arrested at the scene and later identified in a report from regional outlet NHK Television as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami. In an initial report on the arrest, the gun used in the shooting was said to have appeared to be “handmade.”

In 2020, Abe announced he was stepping down from his position as Prime Minister due to health concerns.

“It is gut wrenching to have to leave my job before accomplishing my goals,” he told reporters at the time.

In an initial statement overnight, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said he and the rest of the world were “saddened and shocked” by the shooting. In a follow-up statement, Emanuel remembered Prime Minster Abe as “a leader ahead of his time.”

— ラーム・エマニュエル駐日米国大使 (@USAmbJapan) July 8, 2022

Others to have addressed the assassination at the time of this writing included French President Emmanuel Macron, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and more.

“Horrible news of a brutal assassination of former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe,” the latter said in a tweet. “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.”

Au nom du peuple français, j’adresse mes condoléances aux autorités et au peuple japonais après l’assassinat de Shinzo Abe. Le Japon perd un grand Premier ministre, qui dédia sa vie à son pays et œuvra à l’équilibre du monde.

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) July 8, 2022

Sharing a picture from my most recent meeting with my dear friend, Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. Always passionate about strengthening India-Japan ties, he had just taken over as the Chairman of the Japan-India Association.

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 8, 2022

Shocked and saddened by the tragic death of former Japanese PM Abe Shinzo. He was a great friend and ally to Australia. Deepest sympathies to his family and the people of Japan. We mourn with you.

— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) July 8, 2022

The assassination of @AbeShinzo leaves me shocked and deeply saddened. My deepest sympathy goes to his family, my colleague Fumio @kishida230 and our Japanese friends. We stand closely by Japan's side in these difficult hours.

— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) July 8, 2022

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.

— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) July 8, 2022

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.

— Gotabaya Rajapaksa (@GotabayaR) July 8, 2022

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.

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 8, 2022

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.

Sending condolences to his family, loved ones and the Japanese people.

— יאיר לפיד - Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) July 8, 2022

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.

— Mark Rutte (@MinPres) July 8, 2022

(1/3) It is with profound sadness that we learn of the passing of former PM ABE Shinzo. We express our deepest condolences to the Japanese government and people on his tragic death. We send our most heartfelt sympathy to Mme Akie Abe and their family.

— DFA Philippines 🇵🇭 (@DFAPHL) July 8, 2022

Japonya Eski Başbakanı, değerli dostum Şinzo Abe’nin silahlı saldırı sonucu hayatını kaybetmesinden büyük üzüntü duydum. Bu menfur saldırıyı gerçekleştirenleri kınıyorum.

Dostum Abe’nin ailesine, sevenlerine, tüm Japonya halkına ve hükûmetine başsağlığı dileklerimi iletiyorum.

— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) July 8, 2022

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