“Pathetic,” “cowardly,” “shocking”: From Asia to the West, world leaders reacted with astonishment and outrage at the aftermath of Friday’s injuries to the late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
• Also read: Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated in the middle of a rally
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“The assassination of Shinzo Abe is extremely disturbing – and I am deeply saddened by it. The world has lost a great visionary and Canada a close friend,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted.
“It’s a very, very sad moment,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters at a G20 meeting in Bali, saying the United States is “deeply saddened and deeply concerned.”
Earlier, US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel paid tribute to Mr. Abe, “an outstanding leader of Japan and a staunch ally of the United States,” according to a statement.
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“We are monitoring the evolving situation and hope that (he) will be taken out of danger and recover as soon as possible,” Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said before announcing his death. He said how “shocked” China was and offered his “condolences” to the family.
Russia has denounced “a monstrous crime” and a “terrorist act that has and cannot have any justification,” according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The Secretary General of NATO, of which Japan is not a member but a partner, said he was “deeply shocked”. “NATO stands by the people of our close partner Japan,” tweeted Jens Stoltenberg.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his “dismay” after the “despicable attack”.
EU Council President Charles Michel denounced a “cowardly” attack on a “true friend, fierce defender of the multilateral order and democratic values”.
The Italian government has expressed its strong condemnation, stressing that Italy “stands close to the Japanese people at this dramatic moment”.
French President Emmanuel Macron said he was “deeply shocked”, condemned a “disgusting attack” and praised “a great prime minister”.
“I was horrified to hear the news (…)”, ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted and swears by a “close and trusting cooperation” and her “joy to work with him”, in unison with the current chief of diplomacy Annalena Baerbock, “shocked”. .
“Shocking news from Japan,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted. “Our thoughts are with his family and the people of Japan at this time.”
“Deeply shocked by the attack on my dear friend Abe Shinzo,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and the people of Japan.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran condemns this act of terrorism in the strongest possible terms,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani replied, adding that he was following the news “closely and with concern.”
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong described Mr Abe as “a good friend of Singapore” and said he was “deeply shocked”. “This is a senseless act of violence,” he added on Facebook.
“Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha is very shocked by what happened to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,” Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai told reporters in Bangkok.
He recalled that Messrs. Prayut and Abe are “friends” and have developed a “relatively close relationship” after “several meetings”.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said he was “sad and shocked” and had hoped Mr Abe would manage to survive the attack.
“Myanmar is extremely shocked and surprised by the news. Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is an old and good friend,” said Burmese junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun.
Enrique Manalo, the Philippine foreign minister, expressed “great shock and dismay” at the attack and also hoped Mr Abe will recover before his death in hospital is not confirmed.