‘Towering global statesman’: World leaders pay tribute to former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe
India will observe a day of national mourning on July 9 as a mark of respect for the slain leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
Leaders from across the world on Friday mourned the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and expressed condolences to his family.
Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, died after being shot at a political campaign event in Nara city in South-Central Japan. He was 67 years old.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the former Japanese prime minister “was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator”. He said that he got to know Abe during his tenure as the Gujarat chief minister and their friendship continued after he became the prime minister of India.
Modi said that Abe’s sharp insights on the economy and global affairs always made a deep impression on him.
“During my recent visit to Japan, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Abe again and discuss many issues,” the prime minister wrote on Twitter. “He was witty and insightful as always. Little did I know that this would be our last meeting.”
Modi said that as a mark of respect to the former Japanese prime minister, a one-day national mourning will be observed on July 9.
President Ram Nath Kovind said that Abe was a “great statesman” and his infectious affability endeared him to people the world over. “That he fell prey to an assassin’s bullet is a tragedy for the whole humanity,” he said.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that it was a sad day for Japan, India, the world and for him personally. “A quarter century of memories of Shinzo Abe,” he said. “No words to express them.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that Abe’s role in strengthening the strategic relationship between India and Japan was commendable. “He leaves behind a lasting legacy in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.
World leaders express shock
Several leaders from the rest of the world also said they were shocked to learn about the former Japanese prime minister’s death and expressed solidarity with the country.
The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Abe’s global leadership through unchartered times will be remembered by many. “My thoughts are with his family, friends and the Japanese people,” he said. The UK stands with you at this dark and sad time.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed condolences to Abe’s family and the citizens of Japan. “This heinous act of violence has no excuse,” he said.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that Abe was one of the first leaders she met after taking over the top post. “He was deeply committed to his role but also generous and kind,” she said. “My thoughts are with his wife and the people of Japan. Events like this shake us all to the core.”