Shinzo Abe: World leaders respond to death of former Japanese prime minister

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G7 in 2019 (Neil Hall/PA) (PA Archive)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G7 in 2019 (Neil Hall/PA) (PA Archive)

World leaders have reacted to the assassination of Shinzo Abe, 67, the former prime minister of Japan.

Mr Abe was shot and killed while making a campaign speech in the western city of Nara.

Police said a 41-year-old man suspected of carrying out the shooting had been arrested at the scene.

Leaders including Boris Johnson and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky have shared their condolences on social media.

Mr Johnson said: “Incredibly sad news about Shinzo Abe. His global leadership through unchartered times will be remembered by many. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the Japanese people. The UK stands with you at this dark and sad time.

Mr Zelensky said: “Horrible news of a brutal assassination of former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. I am extending my deepest condolences to his family and the people of Japan at this difficult time. This heinous act of violence has no excuse.”

President of the European Council Charles Michel said: “It is with deep regret that I have learned of the passing of @AbeShinzo. I will never understand the brutal killing of this great man. Japan, Europeans mourn with you. My sincerest condolences to his wife and family.”

Malala said: “Sending my deepest condolences and prayers to Shinzo Abe’s family, friends, colleagues and the Japanese people. I am shocked and saddened by his assassination. I will always remember his hospitality, kindness and personal support for girls’ education and equality.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer said: “Our hearts are with the family of Shinzo Abe and the Japanese people. A truly dark day.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe. He was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place.”

Yingluck Shinawatra, the former Prime Minister of Thailand, said: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of His Excellency Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of Japan who was the longest serving Prime Minister of the country.”

President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “A wonderful person, great democrat and champion of the multilateral world order has passed away. I mourn with his family, his friends and all the people of Japan. This brutal and cowardly murder of @AbeShinzo shocks the whole world.”

The President of Pakistan Arif Alvi said: “I would like to express my deep condolences to family of ex PM & to people of Japan on the sad demise of the very respected Mr Shinzo Abe. I recall with great fondness, my meetings with him, always smiling, & his sincere friendship with the people of Pakistan. A great loss indeed”

Former prime minister David Cameron said: “This is devastating and truly shocking news. Shinzo Abe was a good friend personally, a strong partner to the UK, and a thoroughly kind and decent man. I enjoyed working with him. My heart goes out to his family and friends, and to the people of Japan at this very sad time.”

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