Happy morning. We recently saw Prime Minister Kishida. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude for making the effort to visit us during this extremely trying time. We are present because President Biden asked me to personally express our condolences on behalf of the President and the American people on the passing of former Prime Minister Abe.
I expressed to our Japanese colleagues the sense of shock and loss that the American people are experiencing as a result of this terrible tragedy and murder. It’s a huge loss because Prime Minister Abe genuinely elevated the ties between our nations while he was in office. And as I told our coworkers, we recognized in him a unique quality: the ability to realize his vision. He was a man with vision. However, I mainly came at the President’s request because we are friends rather than allies. Other friends also show up when a friend is in pain. We try to lend a shoulder, share the grief, and help lighten the load, and that’s what we’re attempting to do today.
I gave the prime minister and the Abe family letters that President Biden had written to them. Additionally, I believed it was crucial to express our support for our ally Japan and the Japanese people during this trying time. I’m grateful.