Australian leaders are among those paying tribute to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister since his death at age 67, who died from injuries in a shooting at a political campaign event.
“Destructive news,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a statement.
He said Mr. Abe’s influence and legacy will not be forgotten.
“Mr Abe was one of Australia’s closest friends on the world stage… Under his leadership, Japan became one of Australia’s closest and like-minded people in Asia, a legacy that continues today.”
“We express our deepest condolences and condolences to Ms. Abe and other relatives and friends of Mr. Abe, as well as the people of Japan.”
Doctors at the Nara Medical University Hospital spent more than four hours trying to save Abe’s life with a blood transfusion.
Ultimately, the extent of the injuries from two gunshot wounds to the right side of the neck and left collarbone was too severe and affected his heart, said Hidetada Fukushima, professor of emergency medicine.
He was officially declared dead at 5:03 pm local time (6:03 pm AEST).
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he would not allow violence to stop the democratic process in the country, and elections to the upper house would take place on Sunday.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Sunday’s upper house elections will continue as planned despite the shooting near Kintetsu Yamato-Saidaiji station as “we cannot succumb to violence.” Source: A MONKEY / Kazuki Oishi
“To lose such a figure in this way is absolutely devastating,” he said of Mr. Abe. “He worked for peace and stability in Japan and around the world.”
“We cannot succumb to violence. For this reason, we will continue to fight the election campaign to the very end. I hope the people of Japan will think and work hard to protect this democracy.”
Australia’s federal opposition leader Peter Dutton said Australians mourn with those who mourn Mr Abe in Japan.
“Shinzo Abe was a real statesman, a giant of international politics and a great man. .
“The Australians knew him as our sincere, reliable and loyal friend.”
Mourners visit the site where Shinzo Abe was shot dead in Nara city, Nara prefecture, on July 8, 2022. Source: A MONKEY / Osamu Kanazawa
He added that democracies will stand by each other and citizens will remember how Mr. Abe “fought to the end for his values and for Japan’s future.”
“Today is a black day. A great man was killed by a coward. Mr Abe was shot in the back while participating in the democracy he loved.”
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he felt a deep sense of shock and loss at the gun violence that led to Mr Abe’s death.
“Killed by an assassin, Shinzo Abe will have a powerful positive impact on his country and our region,” he said in a Twitter statement.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared July 9 a national day of mourning in honor of Abe.
“I am incredibly shocked and saddened by the tragic death of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe,” he said. .
“He was an outstanding world statesman, an outstanding leader and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to making Japan and the world a better place.”
Mr Modi said he would treasure the time spent with Mr Abe over the years, including most recently in May when the pair met during the Quad summit.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called Abe’s assassination an “unforgivable crime.”
“I offer my condolences to the families of the victims and to the Japanese people who have lost a prime minister and a respected politician in Japan’s constitutional history, the longest-serving prime minister.”
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen said the world has lost a star.
“Not only has the international community lost an important leader, but Taiwan has also lost an important and close friend.
“Taiwan and Japan are democratic countries with the rule of law, and our government strongly condemns violent and illegal activities,” the statement said.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said she was still trying to figure out Abe’s targeted attack.
Describing him as “a wonderful man” and “a champion of the multilateral world”, she called his execution “a cruel and cowardly murder.”
The countries of Asia and Europe are in mourning, said European Council President Charles Michel.
“I will never understand the brutal murder of this great man,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Japan, the Europeans mourn with you,” he said.
Acting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK stands by Japan in “this dark and sad time.”
“His global leadership in uncharted times will be remembered by many,” he wrote on his Twitter.
“I think of his family, friends and the Japanese.”
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Mr Abe’s murder was shocking and expressed his wish that he “rest in peace”.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was “stunned and deeply saddened”.
“We support Japan even during these difficult hours,” he tweeted.
The French Foreign Ministry said the country mourns with Japan.
Shinzo Abe is Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, holding the position for more than eight years in two terms before ill health forced him to step down in 2020.
He spent 3,188 days as leader of the country, the first time from 2006 to 2007 and then the second time from 2012 to 2020.
Mr. Abe’s economic policies, dubbed “Abenomics”, saw the country record eight consecutive quarters of positive growth between 2015 and 2017, the longest continuous period of growth in almost three decades.