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World leaders react to shocking attack on Shinzo Abe


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Leaders world wide condemned the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday as “despicable,” “cowardly” and “terrorism” whereas recalling him as a person dedicated to peace, safety and worldwide cooperation.

Tributes poured in as governments expressed sorrow and solidarity with Japan over the lack of Abe, who was Japan’s longest-serving chief earlier than stepping down in 2020 for well being causes.

Abe, 67, was shot from behind in Nara in western Japan whereas giving a marketing campaign speech. He was airlifted to a hospital and later pronounced lifeless. The assault was particularly stunning in one of many world’s most secure nations, the place weapons are strictly managed.

US President Joe Biden stated he was “shocked, outraged, and deeply saddened.” He visited the residence of Japan’s ambassador to the US on Friday to supply condolences. He positioned a bouquet of flowers on a desk arrange close to a koi pond and wrote in a condolence guide that Abe was “a person of peace and judgment.”

“This can be a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him,” Biden stated. “His imaginative and prescient of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure. Above all, he cared deeply concerning the Japanese folks and devoted his life to their service.”

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who unexpectedly returned to Tokyo from marketing campaign occasions across the nation, condemned the “unforgivable act.” He stated campaigning in addition to Sunday’s elections for parliament’s higher home will proceed.

“The free and truthful election, which is the basis of democracy, must be protected it doesn’t matter what. We won’t be defeated by violence,” Kishida stated.

Biden referred to as Kishida “a really strong man” and stated he didn’t imagine the killing was more likely to have “any profound, destabilizing impression on Japanese safety or Japanese solidarity.”

Leaders from Turkey to Singapore condemned the assault. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the French overseas ministry referred to as the capturing “despicable,” and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez stated it was “cowardly.”

The UN Safety Council stood in silent tribute to Abe after the present council president, Brazil’s UN Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho, expressed “our unhappiness and shock on the mindless assassination.”

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UN Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres stated Abe will probably be remembered “as a staunch defender of multilateralism, revered chief and supporter of the United Nations.” Abe was dedicated to selling peace and safety, championing UN growth targets and advocating for common well being protection, Guterres stated, in line with his spokesman.

“I’ve fond reminiscences of assembly Mr. Abe and his spouse throughout their go to to the UK in 2016,” Queen Elizabeth II stated in a written assertion. “His love for Japan, and his need to forge ever-closer bonds with the UK, had been clear.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted his “deepest condolences to his household and the folks of Japan at this tough time,” whereas South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol referred to as the capturing “an insupportable felony act,” his workplace stated.

Iran stated it was “an act of terrorism.”

“As a rustic that has been a sufferer of terrorism and has misplaced nice leaders to terrorists, we’re following the information intently and with concern,” Iran’s Overseas Ministry spokesperson stated.

Public broadcaster NHK aired a dramatic video of Abe giving a speech exterior a prepare station in Nara. He’s standing, wearing a navy blue go well with, elevating his fist, when two gunshots are heard. The video then exhibits Abe collapsed on the road.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II stated he was shocked and saddened. “The world misplaced an amazing chief, and Jordan and I misplaced a real pal,” the monarch tweeted.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated Abe was one of many first leaders she met after taking workplace and described him as deeply dedicated to his position, beneficiant and type.

“I recall him asking after the current lack of our pet once I met him, a small gesture however one which speaks to the sort of particular person he’s,” Ardern stated. “Occasions like this shake us all to the core.”

Within the NHK video, safety guards are seen leaping on high of a person in a grey shirt who lies face down on the pavement. A double-barreled machine that seemed to be a hand-crafted gun is seen on the bottom.

The police arrested a suspect on the scene. Beneath Japanese regulation, possession of firearms is prohibited with out a particular license. Importing them can also be unlawful.

Leaders from Germany, Pakistan, Sweden and the Philippines had been additionally amongst those that gave condolences, and lots of nations together with Spain and France expressed solidarity with Japan. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced a day of nationwide mourning on Saturday as a mark of deepest respect for Abe.

“Mr. Abe made an immense contribution to elevating India-Japan relations to the extent of a particular strategic and international partnership. At the moment, complete India mourns with Japan and we stand in solidarity with our Japanese brothers and sisters on this tough second,” Modi stated.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese stated Abe was a “large on the world stage,” including that “his legacy was one in every of international impression, and a profound and optimistic one for Australia.”

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose time in workplace from 2005-2021 largely overlapped Abe’s, stated she was “deeply shocked and devastated” by the “cowardly and vile assassination.”

Taiwan’s authorities stated “Abe spared no effort to push for the progress of Taiwan-Japan relations for a few years,” noting his efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for the Japanese authorities to donate vaccines to Taiwan.

Italian Premier Mario Draghi stated Italy was embracing Abe’s household, the federal government and the Japanese folks.

“Italy is distraught over the horrible assault towards Japan and its free, democratic debate. Abe was an amazing protagonist of Japanese and worldwide political life in current many years, because of his revolutionary spirit and reformist imaginative and prescient,” Draghi stated in an announcement.

Norwegian Overseas Minister Anniken Huitfeldt famous that Abe was killed “whereas campaigning for his fellow get together members.” All politicians must be secure whereas executing their work for democracy.”

Indonesian Overseas Minister Retno Marsudi, who’s president of the Group of 20 nations’ overseas ministers assembly in Bali, Indonesia, stated Abe “will all the time be remembered as a primary instance for all.”

The Worldwide Olympic Committee praised Abe for his “imaginative and prescient, dedication and dependability” that allowed it to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for one yr due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It stated the Olympic flag will probably be flown at half-staff on the Olympic Home in Lausanne for 3 days.

Former US President Donald Trump stated he hoped Abe’s killer can be handled “swiftly and harshly.” “Actually BAD NEWS FOR THE WORLD!” he stated on his social media platform. He stated Abe “was a unifier like no different, however above all, he was a person who beloved and cherished his magnificent nation, Japan.”

In China, nevertheless, Abe’s capturing triggered unfavorable feedback from tens of 1000’s of nationalist residents on social media.

Some quipped, “Hope he isn’t OK,” whereas dozens half-jokingly referred to as the shooter “a hero” or “anti-Japan hero.” Others stated Abe’s accidents had been a consolation to the souls of people that died in Japan’s invasion of China throughout World Struggle II.

Whereas not essentially the view of most Chinese language, the posts mirror sturdy public sentiment — inspired by authorities propaganda — towards right-wing Japanese politicians who query or deny that Japan’s navy dedicated atrocities in China.

Chinese language Overseas Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian stated China expressed sympathies with Abe’s household and that the capturing shouldn’t be linked with bilateral relations.

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Related Press journalists world wide contributed to this report.

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