Queen says she is ‘deeply saddened’ by ‘sudden and tragic’ death of Shinzo Abe as world leaders including Joe Biden express shock over former Japanese PM’s assassination
- World leaders mourn killing of ‘unifier like no other’ and ‘leader in the Indo-Pacific’ who died after ‘heinous act of violence’ in usually peaceful country
- The Queen said she is ‘deeply saddened’ by the death of former prime minister
- Japan’s best-known politician bled to death after being shot in the neck and heart by navy veteran using homemade gun
- Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, was arrested at the scene and police say he has since confessed to the shooting
- Shinzo Abe was well-known amongst world leaders whom he met throughout his nine years in power leaving legacy ‘like no other’
The Queen has said she is ‘deeply saddened’ by the death of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in a public message sent to the Emperor of Japan.
‘My family and I were deeply saddened to hear the news of the sudden and tragic death of former Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe,’ the message read.
‘I have fond memories of meeting Mr Abe and his wife during their visit to the United Kingdom in 2016.
‘His love for Japan, and his desire to forge ever-closer bonds with the United Kingdom, were clear,’ she said, with The Royal Family Twitter account posting the message.
‘I wish to convey my deepest sympathy and condolences to his family and to the people of Japan at this difficult time.’
Condolences from world leaders have begun to pour in praising Abe who was declared dead on Friday after being shot in the neck and heart by a navy veteran using a homemade gun.
US President Joe Biden said he was ‘stunned, outraged and deeply saddened’ by the assassination of his ‘friend’ Abe, adding that it is a ‘tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him’.
Biden recalled having the ‘privilege’ or working closely with Abe when he was Vice President and visiting him in Tokyo.
The Queen said she is ‘deeply saddened’ by the death of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in a public message sent to the Emperor of Japan
Condolences from world leaders have begun to pour in praising Abe who was declared dead on Friday
Biden added: ‘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.
‘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.’
Biden also condemned gun violence in his statement.
He said: ‘While there are many details that we do not yet know, we know that violent attacks are never acceptable and that gun violence always leaves a deep scar on the communities that are affected by it.
‘The United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief. I send my deepest condolences to his family.’
US President Joe Biden said he was ‘stunned, outraged and deeply saddened’ by the assassination of his ‘friend’ Abe (pictured together in New York City in September 2014
Shinzo Abe shakes hands with the former US President Donald Trump during talks at trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida back in 2018. The former American President said Abe was a ‘unifier like no other’ who ‘loved and cherished his magnificent country’
Donald Trump reacts to the shocking assassination of Shinzo Abe in online statement which laments the death of a ‘truly great man and leader’. Abe was shot on Friday by a crowd member while delivering a campaign speech in the city of Nara
Donald Trump (left) and Shinzo Abe (right) wave while playing golf at Mobara Country Club in Mobara, Japan in 2019. Trump says Abe will be ‘greatly missed’ following his sudden death
Kapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, takes a putt during a friendly round of golf with U.S. President Donald Trump, right, at Mobara Country Club in Japan in May 2019
Donald Trump has declared that Shinzo Abe’s killer must be dealt with ‘swiftly and harshly’ as world figures voiced their shock over the former Japanese PM’s death today.
Trump said his assassination is ‘Really BAD NEWS FOR THE WORLD!’ after Japan’s longest serving PM was shot to death while delivering a campaign speech in the city of Nara in western Japan.
Trump crowned Abe a ‘unifier like no other… who loved and cherished his magnificent country’.
The former US President added: ‘Shinzo Abe will be greatly missed. There will never be another like him.’
Trump added: ‘He was a true friend of mine and, much more importantly, America. This is a tremendous blow to the wonderful people of Japan, who loved and admired him so much.’
Trump has played golf with the former Japanese leader and hosted him in his Florida resort, Mar-a-lago. Trump says he is praying for Shinzo and his ‘beautiful family’.
Tributes from current and former world leaders have poured in following the tragic announcement after doctors spent hours desperately trying to save Abe who was shot in the neck and heart.
Abe with the then Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner as he gets a standing ovation while speaking to a joint session of the United State Congress on April 29, 2015 in Washington, DC
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson expressed his dismay on Twitter and praised Abe’s ‘global leadership through unchartered times’.
‘Incredibly sad news about Shinzo Abe,’ Johnson said on Twitter.
‘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.’
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, shared his ‘deepest condolences’ after the ‘heinous act of violence’.
‘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.’
Boris Johnson (left) and Shinzo Abe (right) conversing at bilateral talks at the G7 Summit back in 2019 held in Biarritz, France. Johnson says his thoughts are with [Abe’s] family, friends and the Japanese people during this ‘dark and sad time’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before their meeting in Tokyo in 2019. Zelensky said this ‘heinous act of violence has no excuse’
Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who served as an advisor to her father, said she was ‘saddened’ by Abe’s death.
She described the former Japanese Prime Minister as a ‘truly historic figure and leader of lasting consequence’.
Ivanka, who met with Abe at a series of events including the 2019 G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, added: ‘Abe’s advice, wisdom & warmth had a profound impact on me during my government service. My heart is with his family & the Japanese people as the world mourns his passing.’
Former US President Barak Obama paid tribute to his ‘friend and longtime partner’ who was ‘devoted to both the country he served and the extraordinary alliance between the US and Japan’.
Obama added: ‘I will always remember the work we did to strengthen the alliance, the moving experience of travelling to Hiroshoma and Pearl Harbor together, and the grace he and his wife Akie Abie shared to me and Michelle.
‘Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan who are very much in our thoughts at this painful moment.’
Ivanka Trump described the former Japanese Prime Minister (pictured together at the 2019 G20 Summit) as a ‘truly historic figure and leader of lasting consequence’
Ivanka Trump, advisor to US President Donald Trump, and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attend a meeting of the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo on November 3, 2017
Ivanka, who met with Abe at a series of events including the 2019 G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan (pictured), added: ‘Abe’s advice, wisdom & warmth had a profound impact on me during my government service. My heart is with his family & the Japanese people as the world mourns his passing’
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in the Oval Office following a bilateral meeting between the two leaders on February 22, 2013 in Washington, DC
Abe said little about what he thinks his legacy would be, but a key moment of pride for the former Prime Minister was when Obama became the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima in 2016.
Obama became the first sitting US president to visit the site, where he paid tribute to victims of the world’s first atomic attack, though stopping short of offering an apology for the bombing.
Later that year, the two leaders made a poignant joint pilgrimage to Pearl Harbor, the first visit by a sitting Japanese leader to the memorial there, issuing symbolic declarations about the power of reconciliation and warning against the drumbeat of conflict.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with U.S. President Barack Obama lays a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan, on May 27, 2016
Former US President Barak Obama paid tribute to his ‘friend and longtime partner’ who was ‘devoted to both the country he served and the extraordinary alliance between the US and Japan’
French president, Emmanuel Macron, also joined tributes.
‘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.’
France’s President Emmanuel Macron stands shoulder to shoulder with Shinzo Abe during an official ceremony at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo in 2019
German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, says he is shocked and deeply saddened as a result of Abe’s killing and that Germany stands closely by Japan’s side in these difficult hours.
Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, shared a full statement to Twitter following the announcement, citing Abe as ‘one of Australia’s closest friends’.
‘The tragic death of former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is devastating news…Mr Abe was one of Australia’s closest friends on the world stage… Under his leadership Japan emerged as one of Australia’s most like-minded partners in Asia – a legacy that endures today.
‘Mr Abe was a leader in the Indo-Pacific, championing a vision of a free and open region. The Quad and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership are in many ways the results of his diplomatic leadership.
‘Mr Abe was also a giant on the world stage’ a leader in the G7, the G20 and the United Nations. His legacy was one of global impact, and a profound and positive one for Australia.’
The Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, shared this reaction on Twitter.
‘I am deeply shocked by the news of the assassination of @AbeShinzo,’
‘My thoughts are with the family of our Japanese friend who was always very kind to Poland. May he Rest In Peace.
Germany is at Japan’s side, a German government spokesperson said in response to news that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died on Friday hours after he was shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election.
Abe was shot by Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, a navy veteran, who was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder. Police say he has since confessed, telling them he wanted to kill Abe because he was ‘frustrated’ with him. Yamagami allegedly used a homemade shotgun
A person prays next to flowers laid at the site where late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election, near Yamato-Saidaiji station in Nara, western Japan
The current Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, called the shooting an attack on ‘the foundation of democracy’, describing it as ‘heinous’, ‘barbaric and malicious’, and ‘absolutely unforgivable’.
‘I would like to use the most extreme words available to condemn this act,’ he added.
The shooting is a deeply shocking end to the life of Japan’s best-known politician.
The country prides itself on its low levels of violent crime and has extremely tough gun laws making this incident even more shocking and unexpected.
‘A giant of the world stage’ Shinzo Abe met a host of current and former global leader during his nine years in power
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called the shooting ‘an intolerable criminal act,’ his office said.
Iran, meanwhile, decried the shooting as ‘an act of terrorism.’
‘As a country that has been a victim of terrorism and has lost great leaders to terrorists, we are following the news closely and with concern,’ Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II said he was profoundly shocked and saddened by the attack. ‘The world lost a great leader, and Jordan and I lost a true friend,’ the monarch tweeted.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed her shock about the shooting. She said Abe was one of the first leaders she met after taking office and described him as deeply committed to his role, generous and kind.
‘I recall him asking after the recent loss of our pet when I met him, a small gesture but one that speaks to the kind of person he is,’ Ardern said. ‘Events like this shake us all to the core.’
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a day of national mourning on Saturday as a mark of deepest respect for Abe.
‘Mr. Abe made an immense contribution to elevating India-Japan relations to the level of a special strategic and global partnership. Today, whole India mourns with Japan and we stand in solidarity with our Japanese brothers and sisters in this difficult moment,’ Modi said.
Modi added: ‘During my recent visit to Japan, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Abe again and discuss many issues. He was witty and insightful as always. Little did I know that this would be our last meeting. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the Japanese people.’
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) laughs with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) before the signing of agreements at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on December 12, 2015
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed her shock about the shooting. She said Abe was one of the first leaders she met after taking office and described him as deeply committed to his role, generous and kind. Abe and Ardern are pictured together at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on November 18, 2018
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose time in office from 2005-2021 largely overlapped Abe’s, said she was ‘deeply shocked and devastated’ by the ‘cowardly and vile assassination.’
‘My first thoughts are with his wife and family,’ she said in a statement. ‘I grieve with them. I wish them comfort and support.’
Taiwan’s government said ‘Abe spared no effort to push for the progress of Taiwan-Japan relations for many years,’ noting his efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic for the Japanese government to donate vaccines to Taiwan.
Italian Premier Mario Draghi offered profound condolences and said Italy was embracing Abe’s family, the government and the Japanese people.
‘Italy is distraught over the terrible attack against Japan and its free, democratic debate. Abe was a great protagonist of Japanese and international political life in recent decades, thanks to his innovative spirit and reformist vision,’ Draghi said in a statement.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt noted that Abe was killed ‘while campaigning for his fellow party members. All politicians should be safe while executing their work for democracy.’
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, who is president of the Group of 20 nations’ foreign ministers meeting in Bali, Indonesia, lamented Abe’s ‘untimely demise’ and said he ‘will always be remembered as a prime example for all.’
‘It is with great dismay that all of us as participants have just learned that the former prime minister of Japan has passed away after the assassination,’ German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said after the summit. ‘My thoughts, our thoughts here at the G-20 meeting are with his family, with his friends, and it is with great sadness that we also send our greetings to all the citizens of Japan.’
The International Olympic Committee praised Abe for his ‘vision, determination and dependability’ that allowed it to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for one year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It said the Olympic flag will be flown at half staff at Olympic House in Lausanne for three days.
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