World leaders past and present mourned the, after the man many called their friend was assassinated while campaigning in western Japan Friday. Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, was 67.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Abe’s murder is “incredibly shocking,” and he is “deeply saddened.”
“The world has lost a great man of vision, and Canada has lost a close friend,” Trudeau tweeted. “My thoughts are with his wife, Akie, and the people of Japan as they mourn this loss. You’ll be missed, my friend.”
South Korea’s president, Yoon Suk Yeol, sent his condolences to Japan and condemned the assassination.
“I send my condolences to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s family and the Japanese people,” the South Korean leader tweeted. “An act of terrorism during an election is a brutal attack against the very foundation of democracy. It is utterly unacceptable, and I strongly condemn such an attack.”
“Incredibly sad news,” tweeted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a day after he announced that he’ll be . “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.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared his “deepest condolences” to Abe’s family and the people of Japan on Twitter.
“This heinous act of violence has no excuse,” Zelenskyy tweeted.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Japan lost “a great prime minister, who dedicated his life to his country and worked to bring balance to the world,” in a statement translated from French.
In the U.S., presidents of both parties expressed their sorrow over the shooting, noting the strong partnership between the U.S. and Japan under Abe’s leadership.
“I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former prime minister of Japan, was shot and killed while campaigning,” President Joe Biden said in a statement Friday morning. “This is a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him. I had the privilege to work closely with Prime Minister Abe. As Vice President, I visited him in Tokyo and welcomed him to Washington. He was a champion of the Alliance between our nations and the friendship between our people.”
Mr. Biden added that gun violence “always leaves a deep scar” on affected communities, and “the United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief.”
At the White House Friday morning, the president said he would be stopping by the Japanese Embassy on his way to the CIA to sign the condolence book. He said he tried to call Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan, whom he referred to as a “very solid guy,” and he referred to Japan as a “very stable ally.”
“Former Prime Minister Abe was devoted to both the country he served and the extraordinary alliance between the United States and Japan,” Obama said in a statement. “I will always remember the work we did to strengthen our alliance, the moving experience of traveling to Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor together, and the grace he and his wife Akie Abe showed to me and Michelle. Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan who are very much in our thoughts at this painful moment.”
Former President Donald Trump, who golfed with Abe on a number of occasions and forged an alliance with him, called the initial news that Abe had been shot “absolutely devastating” in a statement on his social media site, Truth Social.
“He was a true friend of mine, and much more importantly, America,” Trump said prior to confirmation of Abe’s death. “This is a tremendous blow to the people of Japan, who loved and admired him so much.”