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

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The fatal shooting of Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shocked world leaders Friday and swiftly drew comments full of condemnation and sorrow from officials globally.

President Joe Biden has yet to release a statement, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the news “shocking” and “profoundly disturbing.” 

Other world leaders from the Group of 7, like French President Emmanuel Macron, took to Twitter to say he was “Deeply shocked by the heinous attack that Shinzo Abe suffered.” 

“Japan is losing a great Prime Minister, who dedicated his life to his country and worked to bring balance to the world,” he added. 

FORMER JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE ASSASSINATED DURING CAMPAIGN SPEECH, HOSPITAL OFFICIALS CONFIRM

This picture taken on July 6, 2022 shows former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivering a campaign speech for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidate Keiichiro Asao for the Upper House election in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo. 
(YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP via Getty Images)

UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson said he was “Utterly appalled and saddened” by the news of Shinzo’s shooting. Adding just hours later that it was “Incredibly sad news” upon learning he had succumbed to his injuries.

“His global leadership through unchartered times will be remembered by many,” he added.

Theresa May, who served as Prime Minister of the U.K. during Shinzo’s final years in Japan’s top job before stepping down due to his chronic ulcerative colitis, called him a “statesman of the highest caliber.”

“A dependable partner and trusted ally. A consummate host. But also the warmest and kindest of friends,” she added.

Former President Donald Trump, who also served out his presidency during Shinzo’s tenure, called him a “unifier like no other.”

JAPAN LODGES PROTEST AFTER CHINESE, RUSSIAN WARSHIPS SPOTTED NEAR DISPUTED ISLANDS: A ‘GRAVE CONCERN’ 

A man believed to have shot former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is tackled by police officers in Nara, western Japan July 8, 2022, in this photo taken by The Asahi Shimbun.
(The Asahi Shimbun/via REUTERS)

“Few people know what a great man and leader Shinzo Abe was, but history will teach them and be kind,” Trump said in a statement posted to his social media platform Truth Social. “Above all, he was a man who loved and cherished his magnificent country, Japan. Shinzo Abe will be greatly missed.”

German Chancellor Olaf Schultz said he was “shocked and deeply saddened”.

“We stand closely by Japan’s side even in these difficult hours,” he tweeted.

Regional leaders from Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and China all expressed regret over the news. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen said in a statement that “Taiwan has also lost an important and close friend.”

Even world leaders who shared no historically deep diplomatic ties with Japan immediately condemned the attack, as Iran’s Foreign Ministry called it “an act of terrorism.”

“As a country that has been a victim of terrorism and has lost great leaders to terrorists, we are following the news closely and with concern,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

The assassination of Shinzo has proved particularly shocking as Japan is ranked among one of the safest countries in the world to live.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, reviews an honor guard as he is welcomed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, in an official arrival ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. The Japanese leader is in Tehran on an mission to calm tensions between the U.S. and Iran. 
(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

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Gun violence in Japan has remained extremely rare for years after a 1958 law essentially banned nearly all gun and sword ownership.

Japan does allow citizens to own a firearm after they complete a 13-step program, which involves joining a hunting or shooting club and an extensive background and evaluation process. 

The weapon used during Friday’s shooting is suspected of being handmade. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Caitlin McFall is a Fox News Digital reporter. You can reach her at caitlin.mcfall@fox.com or @ctlnmcfall on Twitter.

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