(Reuters) – Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving leader, died on Friday after being shot while campaigning for a parliamentary election.
Abe, who sought to lift the economy out of chronic deflation with his bold “Abenomics” policies, beef up the military and counter China’s growing clout, died at 67.
Here are some reactions so far:
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the assassination of Abe “shocking” and “profoundly disturbing”, and described him as a leader of great vision.
Spokesperson for Chinese embassy in Japan: “Former Prime Minister Abe made contributions towards improving China-Japan relations during his term. We express our condolences on his death and send our sympathies to his family.”
FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON
“Japan has lost a great prime minister, who dedicated his life to his country and worked to ensure order in the world.”
UK PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON
“Incredibly sad news about Shinzo Abe,” Johnson said on Twitter. “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.”
GERMAN CHANCELLOR OLAF SCHOLZ
Scholz said he was “stunned and deeply saddened”.
“We stand closely by Japan’s side even in these difficult hours,” Scholz tweeted, expressing his deepest sympathy to Abe’s family.
ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MARIO DRAGHI
“Italy is shocked by this terrible attack, which hits Japan and free democratic debate. Abe was a great protagonist of Japanese and international political life in recent decades, thanks to his innovative spirit and his reforming vision. Italy sends its condolences to his family, to the government and to the entire Japanese people.”
TAIWAN PRESIDENT TSAI ING-WEN
“Not only has the international community lost an important leader, but Taiwan has also lost an important and close friend. Taiwan and Japan are both democratic countries with the rule of law, and our government severely condemns violent and illegal acts,” Tsai said in a statement released by her office.
SOUTH KOREA PRESIDENT YOON SUK-YEOL
“I send my condolences to the bereaved families and Japanese people who have lost the longest-serving prime minister and respected politician in Japan’s constitutional history,” Yoon was quoted as saying in a statement delivered by the presidential office.
Yoon added that the shooting was “an unforgivable act of crime.”
POLISH PRIME MINISTER MATEUSZ MORAWIECKI
“I am deeply shocked by the news of the assassination of @AbeShinzo,” he wrote on Twitter. “My thoughts are with the family of our Japanese friend who was always very kind to Poland. May he Rest In Peace.”
INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY CHIEF RAFAEL GROSSI ON TWITTER
“Deeply saddened by the tragic death of Japanese Former Prime Minister @AbeShinzo. I was honoured to meet him and work with him on important issues for Japan. My condolences to his family, may he rest in peace.”
AUSTRALIA’S PRIME MINISTER ANTHONY ALBANESE
“The tragic death of former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is devastating news…Mr Abe was one of Australia’s closest friends on the world stage… Under his leadership Japan emerged as one of Australia’s most like-minded partners in Asia – a legacy that endures today.
“Mr Abe was a leader in the Indo-Pacific, championing a vision of a free and open region. The Quad and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership are in many ways the results of his diplomatic leadership.
“Mr Abe was also a giant on the world stage – a leader in the G7, the G20 and the United Nations. His legacy was one of global impact, and a profound and positive one for Australia.”
(Compiled by Reuters Global News Desk)