Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated on Friday by a gunman who shot him as he appeared at a campaign event.
Abe's death has sent shockwaves through Japan, where deadly violence and shootings are extremely rare, and around the world.
The 67-year-old was Japan's longest-serving prime minister, having held office twice from 2006 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2020.
World leaders who worked alongside Abe during his time as prime minister expressed their grief and distress at his death.
I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and killed while campaigning. This is a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him. I had the privilege to work closely with Prime Minister Abe. As Vice President, I visited him in Tokyo and welcomed him to Washington. He was a champion of the Alliance between our nations and the friendship between our people. The longest serving Japanese Prime Minister, his vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure. 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. While there are many details that we do not yet know, we know that violent attacks are never acceptable and that gun violence always leaves a deep scar on the communities that are affected by it. The United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief. I send my deepest condolences to his family.
Writing on his social media platform, Truth Social, former president Donald Trump said Abe's death was "really BAD NEWS FOR THE WORLD!":
Really BAD NEWS FOR THE WORLD! Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is dead. He was assassinated. His killer was captured and will hopefully be dealt with swiftly and harshly. Few people know what a great man and leader Shinzo Abe was, but history will teach them and be kind. He was a unifier like no other, but above all, he was a man who loves and cherished his magnificent country, Japan. Shinzo Abe will be greatly missed. There will never be another like him!
Former president Barack Obama said he was "shocked and saddened" at the assassination of his friend:
I am shocked and saddened by the assassination of my friend and longtime partner Shinzo Abe in Japan. Former Prime Minister Abe was devoted to both the country he served 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. Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to the people of Japan who are very much in our thoughts at this painful moment.
Writing on Twitter, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern remembered Abe showing her kindness when she came to power in 2017:
So deeply shocked to hear about the past PM of Japan-Shinzo Abe. He was one of the first leaders I met when I became PM. He was deeply committed to his role but also generous & kind. My thoughts are with his wife and the people of Japan. Events like this shake us all to the core.
Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the news was "incredibly sad":
Incredibly sad news about Shinzo Abe. 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.
French President Emmanuel Macron sent condolences on behalf of the French people:
On behalf of the French people, I send my condolences to the Japanese authorities and people after the assassination of Shinzo Abe. Japan is losing a great prime minister who dedicated his life to his country and worked to bring balance to the world.
António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, said the killing was "horrific":
I’m deeply saddened by the horrific killing of Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of Japan.
I had the privilege of knowing him for years & will always remember his collegiality & commitment to multilateralism.
My condolences to his family, and the people & Government of Japan.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "saddened beyond words" at the death of one of his dearest friends. He also declared a national day of mourning:
I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe. 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. My association with Mr. Abe goes back many years. I had got to know him during my tenure as Gujarat CM and our friendship continued after I became PM. His sharp insights on economy and global affairs always made a deep impression on me. 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. Mr. Abe made an immense contribution to elevating India-Japan relations to the level of a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. Today, whole India mourns with Japan and we stand in solidarity with our Japanese brothers and sisters in this difficult moment. As a mark of our deepest respect for former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, a one day national mourning shall be observed on 9 July 2022.
The assassination of @AbeShinzo is incredibly shocking – and I’m deeply saddened. The world has lost a great man of vision, and Canada has lost a close friend. My thoughts are with his wife, Akie, and the people of Japan as they mourn this loss. You’ll be missed, my friend.
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II sent a message of condolence to her counterpart in Japan, Emperor Naruhito, expressing her sadness:
My family and I were deeply saddened to hear the news of the sudden and tragic death of former Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. I have fond memories of meeting Mr Abe and his wife during their visit to the United Kingdom in 2016. His love for Japan, and his desire to forge ever-closer bonds with the United Kingdom, were clear. I wish to convey my deepest sympathy and condolences to his family and to the people of Japan at this difficult time.