Shinzo Abe: World leaders pay tribute to Japan’s former prime minister

Australian leaders are among those paying tribute to Japan’s longest-serving prime minister Shinzo Abe, after his death at the age of 67, succumbing to injuries from a shooting at a political campaign event. “Devastating news,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a statement.READ MOREHe said Mr Abe’s impact and legacy would not be forgotten.”Mr Abe was one of Australia’s closest friends on the world stage…Under his leadership Japan emerged as one of the Australia’s closest and most like-minded partners in Asia – a legacy that endures today.””We offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to Mrs Abe and Mr Abe’s other family and friends, and to the people of Japan.”Doctors at Nara Medical University hospital spent more than four hours trying to save Mr Abe’s life with a blood transfusion. Ultimately, the extent of the injuries from the two gunshots on the right side of the neck and left collarbone were too severe, and impacted his heart, said professor of emergency medicine Hidetada Fukushima. READ MOREHe was official declared dead at 5:03pm local time (6:03pm AEST). Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he won’t let violence stop the country’s democratic process – and Sunday’s upper house election will go ahead.Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Sunday’s upper house election will continue as planned, despite the shooting near Kintetsu Yamato-Saidaiji Station as “we cannot give in to violence”. Source: AAP / Kazuki Oishi”To lose such a figure in this manner is absolutely devastating,” he said of Mr Abe. “He was working for peace and stability in Japan and the world.””We cannot give in to violence. For this reason, we will continue to fight the election campaign until the very end. I hope the people of Japan will think about and work hard to protect this democracy.”Australia’s federal Opposition leader, Peter Dutton, said Australians grieve with those mourning Mr Abe in Japan.”Shinzo Abe was a true statesman, a giant of international politics, and a great man,” he .”Australians knew him to be our sincere, trustworthy and staunch friend.”Mourners visit the site where Shinzo Abe was shot in Nara City, Nara Prefecture on 8 July 2022. Source: AAP / Osamu KanazawaHe added that democratic nations would stand by each other and citizens would remember how Mr Abe “fought for his values, and for Japan’s future, to the end”.”Today is a dark day. A great man was murdered by a coward. Mr Abe was shot in the back, while participating in the democracy he loved.”Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said there is a profound sense of shock and loss over the gun violence that led to Mr Abe’s death.”Struck down by an assassin, Abe Shinzo’s powerful positive impact on his country and our region will endure,” he said in a statement on Twitter.India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, declared a national day of mourning in India honour of Mr Abe for 9 July.”I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe,” he said in a .”He was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place.”Mr Modi said he will treasure his time with Mr Abe over the years, including most recently in May when the pair met during the Quad summit.South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol said the shooting of Mr Abe was “an unforgivable act of crime.””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.”Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-Wen, said the world has lost a star.”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,” she said in a statement.European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said she is still trying to make sense of the targeted attack of Mr Abe.Describing him as a “wonderful person” and “champion of the multilateral world”, she called his death by shooting a “brutal and cowardly murder”.Nations in Asia and Europe are in mourning, said European Council President Charles Michel. “I will never understand the brutal killing of this great man,” he said on Twitter. “Japan, Europeans mourn with you,” he said.UK caretaker prime minister Boris Johnson said the UK stands with Japan during “this dark and sad time”.”His global leadership through unchartered times will be remembered by many,” he said in a statement on Twitter.”My thoughts are with his family, friends and the Japanese people.”Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the assassination of Mr Abe is shocking and he conveyed his wish for him to “rest in peace”.German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he is “stunned and deeply saddened”.”We stand closely by Japan’s side even in these difficult hours,” he said in a statement on Twitter.France’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said the country grieves with Japan.Shinzo Abe is Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, serving for more than eight years in the role over two terms before ill health forced him to step down in 2020.He spent 3,188 days as the country’s leader with a first run between 2006 and 2007, and then with a second stint from 2012 until 2020.Mr Abe’s economic policies – dubbed Abenomics – led the country to record eight consecutive quarters of positive growth between 2015 and 2017 – the longest continuous run of growth in nearly three decades.