Monday, 8 August, 2022
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World leaders condemn Abe assassination

World leaders condemn Abe assassination

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World leaders condemned Friday's assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and paid tribute to the 67-year-old, who was his country's longest-serving leader.

Here are some key comments:

- United States -

US President Joe Biden, who said he was "stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened" by the assassination, went to the Japanese embassy in Washington to personally offer his condolences.

"It is not only a loss to his wife and family -- and the people of Japan, it's a loss to the world. A man of peace and judgment -- he will be missed," Biden said in a handwritten note.

He ordered flags on US government buildings to fly at half-mast through Sunday.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken -- in Bali for a G20 meeting -- mourned Abe as a visionary leader who "brought the relationship between our countries, the United States and Japan, to new heights".

- South Korea -

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol termed the killing an "unacceptable act".

"I extend my consolation and condolences to his family and the Japanese people for having lost their longest-serving prime minister and a respected politician," Yoon said.

- China -

The Chinese embassy in Japan said it was "shocked" by the shooting.

"During his tenure, former prime minister Abe made contributions to the improvement and development of China-Japan relations. We express our condolences on his passing and express sympathy and solicitude for his family," an embassy spokesperson said.

- Britain -

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the leadership role taken by the former premier, saying the United Kingdom stands with Japan "at this dark and sad time".

"Incredibly sad news about Shinzo Abe. His global leadership through unchartered times will be remembered by many," Johnson tweeted.

In a message of condolence sent to Japan's Emperor Naruhito, Queen Elizabeth II said she too was "deeply saddened" by the news of Abe's death, adding that she had "fond memories of meeting Mr Abe and his wife" when they visited Britain in 2016.

- Canada -

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Abe's assassination "incredibly shocking".

"The world has lost a great man of vision, and Canada has lost a close friend," he said.

- France -

French President Emmanuel Macron said "Japan has lost a great prime minister".

Abe had "dedicated his life to his country and worked for stability in the world", he said in a tweet.

- Germany -

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Abe's killing had left him "aghast and deeply sad".

"I extend deep sympathy to his family, my colleague Fumio Kishida and our Japanese friends," the German leader tweeted.

- Italy -

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said that his country was "shocked by the terrible attack that hits Japan and its free democratic debate."

- Australia -

"Shocking news from Japan that former PM Shinzo Abe has been shot," Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted after the attack.

"Our thoughts are with his family and the people of Japan at this time."

- Brazil -

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro expressed "extreme indignation" at the killing and declared three days of official mourning in solidarity with Japan.

Brazil is home to the largest Japanese community outside of the archipelago, with about 1.9 million immigrants and descendants.

Bolsonaro described Abe as a "brilliant leader" and "great friend of Brazil" in a tweet.

"Let his murder be punished rigorously. We are with Japan," the far-right leader said.

- European Union -

"The brutal and cowardly murder" of Abe "shocks the world", European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.

"I will never understand the brutal killing of this great man," said European Council President Charles Michel in a separate tweet.

- India -

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a day of national mourning in honour of Abe.

"I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe," Modi wrote on Twitter.

"We stand in solidarity with our Japanese brothers and sisters in this difficult moment."

- Indonesia -

Indonesian President Joko Widodo also used Twitter to extend condolences, writing: "We will always remember his contributions in strengthening RI-Japan cooperation".

- Russia -

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the death an "irreplaceable loss".

In a telegram to Abe's family, Putin called Abe an "outstanding statesman" who had done a lot to develop "good neighbourly ties between our countries".

- Turkey -

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Abe, the former prime minister of Japan, in an armed attack. I condemn those who carried out this heinous attack," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

- Ukraine -

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky extended his condolences to Abe's family, and said on Twitter that there was "no excuse" for "this heinous act of violence".

- United Nations -

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said he was "deeply saddened by the horrific killing", adding that he would "always remember his collegiality and commitment to multilateralism".

The UN Security Council observed a moment of silence to honour Abe ahead of a meeting in New York.