Shinzo Abe: Tributes paid from around the world after death of former Japanese PM

Shinzo Abe: Tributes paid from around the world after death of former Japanese PM
Emergency services move former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe from ambulance to helicopter

Tributes have been paid around the world following the tragic death of former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.

The 67-year-old was shot during a speech on Friday in Nara, western Japan. He was airlifted to a hospital for emergency treatment but was later pronounced dead.

Prime minister Fumio Kishida condemned the shooting as unforgivable, calling it a “dastardly and barbaric” act during a speech to the nation.

A 41-year-old man suspected of carrying out the shooting has been arrested by police. Identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, a resident of Nara, he was a former maritime self-defence force member, reported Fuji TV.

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He was the longest-serving PM in Japan’s history, having held the office from 2006-2007 and then again from 2012 to 2020.

The politician passed away at the age of 67Getty

Leaders and commentators from around the world have paid tribute to Abe following the tragedy.

Boris Johnson wrote: “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.”

Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May said: “He was a statesman of the highest calibre. A dependable partner and trusted ally. A consummate host. But also the warmest and kindest of friends.

“My prayers and deepest sympathies are with his family and the people of Japan.”

India’s president Rashtrapati Bhavan has tweeted: “I find it difficult to believe that Shinzo Abe is no more. He was a great statesman, & his infectious affability endeared him the world over.

“That he fell prey to an assassin’s bullet is a tragedy for the whole of humanity. My heartfelt condolences to his family and people of Japan.”

The Italian prime minister, Mario Draghi, said: “Italy is shocked by the terrible attack, which affects Japan and its free democratic debate. Abe has been a great protagonist of Japanese and international political life in recent decades, thanks to his innovative spirit and his vision of reform. Italy’s thoughts are with his loved ones, the government and the entire Japanese population.”

French President Emmanuel Macron wrote: “Japan has lost a great prime minister, who dedicated his life to his country and worked to ensure order in the world,” Macron said on Twitter.”

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky also paid tribute by saying: “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.”

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