On Friday, President Joe Biden expressed shock and outrage over the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“This is a tragedy for Japan and all who knew him.” “I had the privilege of working closely with Prime Minister Abe,” Biden said.
“The longest-serving Japanese Prime Minister, his vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure,” Biden added.
According to reports, Abe was delivering a speech outside a railway station in the city of Nara when he was shot twice from behind on Friday.
Abe was campaigning at the time on behalf of his conservative Liberal Democratic Party ahead of the upcoming parliamentary vote slated for Sunday.
The former prime minister was airlifted to Nara Medical University hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 5 p.m. local time.
“Gun violence always leaves a deep scar on the communities affected by it,” he said.
“The United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief. I send my deepest condolences to his family, “he added.
Abe maintained a close relationship with the United States during his tenure as Prime Minister.
He visited Hiroshima with then-President Barack Obama in May 2016, marking the first time a sitting president had visited the site where the atomic bomb was dropped in 1945. Later that year, he became the first prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor.