Political leaders from all over the world have denounced the shooting of the former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
Abe, 67, who served as Japan’s prime minister for the longest time and stepped down in 2020, passed away after being shot twice in Nara, a city close to Kyoto.
The western military alliance’s Jens Stoltenberg expressed his “deep sadness” over the “heinous killing of Shinzo Abe, a defender of democracy and my friend and colleague over many years.”
My sincere sympathies go out to his family, Prime Minister [Fumio] Kishida, and the people of Nato partner Japan at this trying time, he continued.
Australia, India, and the US—the other three members of Japan’s Quad—were among the first nations to react to the shooting.
Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, announced a day of national mourning for his nation, expressing his “utter shock and sadness at the tragic passing of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the shooting as a “very, very sad moment” prior to the news of Abe’s passing.
Abe played a key role in the Quad group’s establishment, which is a partnership meant to counter China’s assertiveness in the area.
The foreign ministry of China also expressed “shock” over Abe’s shooting and offered his family its condolences.
The attack “provides a sober reminder to all our democracies of how precious our freedoms are,” according to former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd.
Rudd, who is currently president of the US-based Asia Society think tank, continued, “An attack on any democratically elected political leader is an attack on supporters of democracy everywhere.”
On social media, Abe’s close friend and former US president Donald Trump described the shooting as “a tremendous blow to the wonderful people of Japan.”
Since he left office, Abe’s public support for Taiwan has grown in response to the upsurge in Chinese aggression against the democratic nation.
Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, denounced the “violent and illegal acts,” but Wang Ting-yu, a lawmaker for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan, claimed that “PM Abe is a good friend of Taiwan.”
The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, expressed his shock and sadness over the cowardly attack Shinzo Abe received while going about his official business.
Michel referred to him as “a true friend, a fierce defender of multilateral order & democratic values.” In these trying times, “[the] EU stands with the people of Japan and [prime minister Fumio] Kishida.”
Social media in China was dominated by reports of the shooting.
Chinese nationalists have long targeted the former Japanese prime minister. Don’t forget that he visited the Yasukuni Shrine, the contentious memorial honoring Japan’s war dead, including some convicted war criminals, according to a well-liked Weibo comment under the news of the incident.
The “hateful” attack on Abe, whom he called a “great prime minister,” shocked French president Emmanuel Macron, who described himself as “profoundly shocked” by it.
The cowardly attack was denounced by Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister of Spain, who also stated that Spain “stands in solidarity with the Japanese people in these difficult times.”
The prime minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, stated that “at this time, our thoughts are with his family and the people of Japan.”