The capturing of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has sparked condemnation from political leaders the world over.
Abe, 67, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister who stood down in 2020, died after being shot twice in Nara, a metropolis near Kyoto.
Jens Stoltenberg, secretary-general of Nato, the western navy alliance, stated he was “deeply saddened by the heinous killing of Shinzo Abe, a defender of democracy and my buddy and colleague over a few years”.
“My deepest condolences to his household, PM [Fumio] Kishida and the individuals of Nato’s accomplice Japan at this troublesome time,” he added.
Japan’s fellow Quad members, Australia, India and the US, have been among the many first to reply after the capturing.
India’s prime minister Narendra Modi known as for a day of nationwide mourning in his nation, saying he was “shocked and saddened past phrases on the tragic demise of considered one of my dearest pals, Shinzo Abe”.
Earlier than Abe’s demise was reported, Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, stated the capturing was a “very, very unhappy second”.
Abe was instrumental within the formation of the Quad group, which is broadly acknowledged as a partnership designed to counter China’s assertiveness within the area.
China’s overseas ministry additionally expressed “shock” at Abe’s capturing and prolonged condolences to his household.
Kevin Rudd, the previous Australian prime minister, stated the assault “offers a sober reminder to all our democracies of how treasured our freedoms are”.
“An assault on any democratically elected political chief is an assault on supporters of democracy in all places,” added Rudd, who’s now president of the US-based Asia Society think-tank.
Former US president Donald Trump, with whom Abe cast shut ties, stated by way of social media that the capturing was “an amazing blow to the fantastic individuals of Japan”.
Abe’s public help for Taiwan had strengthened since he left workplace within the face of rising Chinese language aggression in opposition to the democratic nation.
Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan president, condemned the “violent and unlawful acts”, whereas Wang Ting-yu, a member of Taiwan’s parliament from the ruling Democratic Progressive occasion, stated that “PM Abe is an efficient buddy of Taiwan”.
Charles Michel, European Council president, stated he was “shocked and saddened by cowardly assault on Shinzo Abe whereas performing his skilled duties”.
“A real buddy, fierce defender of multilateral order & democratic values,” Michel stated. “[The] EU stands with individuals of Japan and [prime minister Fumio] Kishida in these troublesome occasions.”
Information of the capturing dominated Chinese language social media.
The previous Japanese prime minister has lengthy been a goal of Chinese language nationalists. One fashionable Weibo remark below the information of the incident learn: “Don’t neglect that he visited the Yasukuni Shrine,” referring to the controversial memorial that honours Japan’s warfare lifeless, together with some convicted warfare criminals.
French president Emmanuel Macron stated he was “profoundly shocked” by the “hateful” assault on Abe, whom he described as a “nice prime minister”.
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez condemned “this cowardly assault”, including that “Spain stands in solidarity with the Japanese individuals in these troublesome occasions.
Anthony Albanese, Australia’s prime minister, stated “our ideas are together with his household and the individuals of Japan presently”.
Extra reporting by Maiqi Ding and Arjun Neil Alim in Beijing, Nic Fildes in Sydney, Chloe Cornish in Mumbai, Peter Wells in New York, Henry Foy in Brussels, Victor Mallett in Paris and Peter Sensible in Lisbon