Vietnam's Leaders Pay Tribute to Former Japan PM Shinzo Abe
|Japan's former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Photo: Government News
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, on behalf of Party and State leaders and people of Vietnam, cabled a message of condolences to President of the Liberal Democratic Party and PM of Japan Kishida Fumio over the death of former PM Abe Shinzo on July 8, VNA reported the same day.
In the message, Chinh extended the deepest sympathy to the Japanese Government, people and the bereaved family, and expressed his appreciation for Abe’s special sentiments and valuable support to the land and people of Vietnam, as well as the extensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
The same day, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son also sent condolences to his Japanese counterpart Hayashi Yoshimasa.
The 67-year-old Abe died at a hospital in Nara Prefecture, where he had been receiving treatment after being shot with what appeared to be a handmade gun.
Abe had been speaking at a small campaign event on a street outside a train station in the city of Nara, just east of Osaka, at about 11:30 a.m. (local time) when a man rushed at him and fired two shots.
Videos posted on social media appeared to show bystanders scrambling to help, amid a cloud of white smoke, as Abe lay on the ground motionless.
Hospital officials said Abe did not show vital signs after being airlifted to the hospital. Doctors attempted to stop the bleeding, and to conduct blood transfusions, but Abe was declared dead at 5:03 p.m. They said one of the shots penetrated Abe’s heart and the other hit his neck.
The alleged shooter, a 41-year-old man from Nara, has been detained. It said the man, who state broadcaster NHK identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, served three years in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. The man told police that he was dissatisfied with Abe and wanted to kill him, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) Television reported.
Abe’s funeral is scheduled on July 12 and his body will be transferred to his home in Tokyo early Saturday, said Japanese government officials.
|People pray after putting a bouquet of flowers at a makeshift memorial at the scene where the former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot while delivering his speech to support the Liberal Democratic Party's candidate during an election campaign in Nara, Friday, July 8, 2022. Source: Reuters
Both during and after his time as Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, had a profound impact on Japanese politics and security.
Abe served two terms, for a total of nine years, as prime minister – longer than any of Japan's other post-World War II leaders.
Abe oversaw major changes to Japan's technically pacifist defense architecture, believing the country should do more to counter China's growing strength.
The grandson of a World War II-era Cabinet minister, Abe came from a wealthy and well-connected political family. He was elected to parliament for the first time in 1993 at the age of 39.
After rising through the ranks of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, Abe in 2006 became Japan's youngest postwar prime minister. However, he quit the position after only about a year because of ulcerative colitis, a painful stomach condition.
|Then Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Japanese counterpart Abe Shinzo at the 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit in 2019. Photo: VNA
Abe helped the relations relations between Japan and Vietnam thrive further. After assuming the position, he chose Vietnam as the first destination for his trips overseas and always wanted to boosting the Vietnam – Japan relations. His tenure that lasted nearly eight years, the longest in Japan’s history, was key to the stability of the ties.
Vietnam appreciated Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s important contributions to the development of Vietnam-Japan relations for the sake of the two countries’ people and for peace, prosperity, cooperation and development in the region and the world, said the Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang while answering reporters’ queries about PM Abe Shinzo’s declaration to resign in 2020.
|Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the welcoming ceremony for General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to visit Japan in September 2015. Source: VOV
|In nearly 8 years of leading Japan, he has made 4 official visits to Vietnam.
|The 2017 visit was the second visit by Abe following the first trip to Vietnam since he took office again in 2012.
|Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's spouse (centre) wears Vietnamese ao dai when participating in a Vietnam Festival in Japan. Source: VOV
Leaders worldwide paid tribute to former Japan PM Shinzo Abe, Kyodo reported on July 8.
In a statement, US President Joe Biden said he was "stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news."
"He was a champion of the Alliance between our nations and the friendship between our people," he said, adding that Abe's "vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure."
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was "shocked and saddened beyond words" and shared a photo of his last meeting with his "dear friend" Abe, who died at age 67. He praised his "immense contribution to elevating India-Japan relations" and said India would observe a day of national mourning Saturday.
"China is shocked," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference. He added that Abe had "made contributions to promoting the improvement and development of China-Japan relations."
President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Yoon Suk-yeol was quoted as saying by the presidential office, "I send my words of consolation and condolences to the bereaved family and Japanese people, who lost the longest-serving prime minister and respected politician."
European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen called Abe's death a "brutal and cowardly murder" and said a "wonderful person, great democrat and champion of the multilateral world order has passed away."
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in a statement, "Under his leadership Japan emerged as one of Australia's closest and most like-minded partners in Asia." On behalf of Australia, he also offered "deepest sympathies and condolences to Mrs. Abe and to Mr. Abe's other family and friends, and to the people of Japan."
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Abe was "always focused, thoughtful and generous" and described how he expressed condolences for her cat's passing in their first bilateral meeting. "This act of violence against Japan's longest serving Prime Minister is unfathomable," she wrote in condemnation of his shooting.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that he was "deeply saddened" by Abe's death. "The world has lost a great man of vision, and Canada has lost a close friend," he said.
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