Updated Jul 9, 2022 - World

Biden "stunned" and "outraged" over Shinzo Abe's assassination

Then-Vice President Joe Biden meets with Japan's Shinzo Abe in New York City in 2014.
Then-Vice President Joe Biden meets with Japan's Shinzo Abe in New York City in 2014. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Biden is "stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened" over the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he said in a statement on Friday.

Driving the news: "This is a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him ... He was a champion of the Alliance between our nations and the friendship between our people," Biden said.

  • "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," Biden said.
  • Biden on Friday also wrote a note at the Japanese ambassador's residence to express his condolences on the assassination.
  • He also spoke with Japan's current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida over the phone to send condolences.
  • "The President noted our unwavering confidence in the strength of Japan’s democracy and the two leaders discussed how Abe Shinzo’s legacy will live on as we continue the important task of defending peace and democracy," according to a readout from the White House.

State of play: Former President Barack Obama also expressed his condolences Friday over the assassination, saying he is "shocked and saddened."

  • "Former Prime Minister Abe was devoted to both the country he served and the extraordinary alliance between the United States and Japan," Obama wrote in a tweet, adding that the former prime minister was a "friend" and "longtime partner."
  • Abe and Obama visited Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor together in 2016.

The big picture: Abe died on Friday after being shot while giving a campaign speech. He was most recently in office from December 2012 to September 2020 and was Japan's longest-serving prime minister.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to include President Biden's note at the Japanese ambassador's residence.

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