'Saddened Beyond Words': PM Modi, World Leaders on Shinzo Abe's Assassination

The former Japanese PM was assassinated in the city of Nara on Friday morning.

4 min read

Lamenting the fatal attack on erstwhile Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, 8 July, said that he was "shocked and saddened beyond words."

Meanwhile, an aggrieved PM Fumio Kishida said that he could not find the words to describe how he was feeling.

Pushing back tears on national television, he continued, "Sunday's upper house election will continue as planned, to defend the democratic process and to refuse give in to violence," CGTN quoted him as saying.

"During my recent visit to Japan, I had the opportunity to meet Mr Abe again and discuss many issues. He was witty and insightful as always. Little did I know that this would be our last meeting. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the Japanese people," Modi added.

The former Japanese PM was assassinated in the city of Nara on Friday morning while delivering a speech, officials said.

After the shooting, the 67-year-old leader was not breathing, and his heart stopped while being airlifted to the hospital for the gunshot wound, a fire official was quoted as saying.

As a mark of respect, the PM announced that India will observe a day of national mourning on 9 July.

India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter to say that he was "deeply saddened."

"India today has lost a close friend who assiduously worked towards strengthening the bilateral relations between India and Japan, during his tenure as Prime Minister," Singh wrote on Twitter.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also reacted to Abe's demise and said, "Express my profound grief on the tragic demise of former PM of Japan Shinzo Abe. He was a friend of India and we held him in great regard. Express my condolences to the people of Japan in this hour of grief."

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor, too, expressed their sorrow.

"My condolences to his family & to the people of Japan," wrote Gandhi.


'Stunned, Outraged, and Deeply Saddened': US President Biden on Abe's Demise

Calling the incident a tragedy for Japan, US President Joe Biden said that he is stunned and deeply saddened by the news of Shinzo Abe’s death

“Above all, he cared deeply about the Japanese people and dedicated his life to their service. Even at the moment he was attacked, he was engaged in the work of democracy,” Biden said.

Expressing support from the United States, Biden said, “The United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief. I send my deepest condolences to his family.”

Calling Abe a “champion of the Alliance” between the US and Japan, Biden added, “his vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure.”

Barack Obama, Boris Johnson, & Australian PM Offer Condolences

Former US President Barack Obama took to Twitter and expressed condolences following Abe's demise.

"I am shocked and saddened by the assassination of my friend and longtime partner Shinzo Abe in Japan," he said.

He added that Abe was devoted both to Japan and "the extraordinary alliance between the United States and Japan."

"I will always remember the work we did to strengthen our alliance, the moving experience of traveling to Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor together, and the grace he and his wife Akie Abe showed to me and Michelle," Obama added.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condoled Abe's demise, saying that "his thoughts are with his family, friends and the Japanese people."

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that President Xi Jinping was "deeply saddened by his sudden passing."

"On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, and in his own name, Xi Jinping expressed deep condolences over (Abe's) untimely death... and condolences to his relatives," it said.

Meanwhile, Australian PM Anthony Albanese joined in, saying that the Australian government and people were mourning with Japan.

"He will be greatly missed," Albanese wrote in a statement.

"It is deeply saddening to hear the news of former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe being shot. Even after he became the former PM, he was associated with Tibet's cause. People from all over the work are in a state of shock," said Tenzin Lekshay, the spokesperson for Central Tibetan Administration.

Dalai Lama Reacts

Calling Abe "his friend," Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama also expressed his grief over the leader's demise.

"I very much appreciated his friendship and support of our efforts to preserve our rich Buddhist cultural heritage and identity," said Dalai Lama, adding, "Abe truly lived a meaningful life in the service of others."

Soon after the news of his shooting broke, messages of shock and despair poured in from leaders around the world, with Kishida saying that he is "praying from the depths of my heart that his life will be saved."

In a media briefing, an emotional Kishida stated:

"As far as I've heard, everything that can be done is being done to revive him. I am praying from the depths of my heart that his life will be saved. I am not aware of the motives and background behind this attack, but this attack is an act of brutality that happened during the elections – the very foundation of our democracy – and is absolutely unforgivable."
Japan PM Fumio Kishida, as quoted by Reuters

United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was quoted as saying that he was "deeply saddened and deeply concerned" about the news coming in from Japan.

(With inputs from Reuters.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
Read More