Tributes to Shinzo Abe have continued to pour in from politicians around the world, many of whom recalled their visits with the former leader and expressed their shock at his killing.
French President Emmanuel Macron said “Japan has lost a great prime minister.”
“On behalf of the French people, I send my condolences to the Japanese authorities and people after the assassination of Shinzo Abe. Japan has lost a great Prime Minister, who dedicated his life to his country and worked to bring balance to the world,” Macron tweeted.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Abe’s assassination “shocking,” and praised Abe as “a leader with great vision” and an “extraordinary partner,” who took US-Japanese relations “to new heights.”
“It’s profoundly disturbing in and of itself, it’s also such a strong personal loss for so many people,” Blinken said Friday.
A number of former leaders who worked with Abe during his time as Japanese prime minister also offered their condolences.
Former British Prime Minister David Cameron said Abe was “a good friend personally, a strong partner to the UK, and a thoroughly kind and decent man.” He called his death “devastating and truly shocking.”
Israel’s ex-leader Benjamin Netanyahu said he “will always remember Shinzo Abe and cherish our deep friendship,” while Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French prime minister, called him “a great leader who left his mark on Japan.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Abe’s death “incredibly shocking,” adding that he was “deeply saddened.” Trudeau tweeted, “The world has lost a great man of vision, and Canada has lost a close friend. My thoughts are with his wife, Akie, and the people of Japan as they mourn this loss. You’ll be missed, my friend.”
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro called Abe “a brilliant leader” in a tweet Friday. “I receive with extreme indignation and grief the news of the death of @AbeShinzo, a brilliant leader who was a great friend of Brazil. I extend to Abe’s family, as well as to our Japanese brothers, my solidarity and my wish that God watch over their souls in this moment of pain,” he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sent his “deepest condolences” to Abe’s family and the people of Japan. “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,” Zelensky tweeted.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said she was “extremely pained” by Abe’s passing, referring to the late leader as “the staunchest friend of Taiwan.” Tsai Ing-wen said Abe was “an old friend” she had known “for more than a decade.”
UN Secretary General António Guterres tweeted his condolences over Abe’s assassination. “I’m deeply saddened by the horrific killing of Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of Japan,” Guterres said. “I had the privilege of knowing him for years & will always remember his collegiality & commitment to multilateralism. My condolences to his family, and the people & Government of Japan.”
Former US President Barack Obama said he’s “shocked and saddened” by Abe’s assassination. In a statement, he recounted the close relationship the two leaders forged during his second term in office and the “extraordinary alliance” between the two nations. In 2016, Obama traveled to Hiroshima with Abe — becoming the first sitting US president to do so — and later that year, Abe returned the gesture, becoming the first Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor.
Former US President George W. Bush, who worked with Abe during his first stint as Japanese prime minister in 2006, said in a statement that he was “deeply saddened to learn of the senseless assassination,” adding that “Shinzo Abe was a patriot of his country who wanted to continue serving it.”
Queen Elizabeth II, in a message of condolence to the emperor of Japan, said Abe’s “love for Japan, and his desire to forge ever-closer bonds with the United Kingdom, were clear. I wish to convey my deepest sympathy and condolences to his family and to the people of Japan at this difficult time.”
The Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, expressed his “deep sadness,” saying in an interview Friday with Italian state broadcaster RAI that Abe “was a man who had a great influence beyond Japan’s borders. He was a very controversial person as well, however, a man of principles, a man of great sense of the common good of his people.”