Quad leaders expressed shock and regret over the death of former Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe in a joint statement released on Friday. The statement was released by the White House.
“We, the leaders of Australia, India, and the United States, are shocked at the tragic assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Prime Minister Abe was a transformative leader for Japan and for Japanese relations with each one of our countries,” the statement said.
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe played a pivotal role in the rebuilding and giving shape to present-day Quad at a time when China was spreading its tentacles in the Indo-Pacific and took efforts to threaten the sovereignty of nations in the region.
The White House statement echoed a similar tone where it lauded the longest-serving Japanese prime minister for bringing four nations together to help build a shared global future.
“Our hearts are with the people of Japan — and Prime Minister Kishida– in this moment of grief. We will honor Prime Minister Abe’s memory by redoubling our work towards a peaceful and prosperous region,” the statement said.
Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated while he was delivering a speech near the Yamato-Saidaiji Station in Nara City. The attacker Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old resident of Nara City, was held moments after the attack.
Following his death, all Quad leaders spoke to Japanese PM Fumio Kishida to extend their condolences. PM Narendra Modi penned a blog recalling Abe’s visit to India and his visits to Japan and fondly called him his friend.
“In the passing away of Abe, Japan and the world have lost a great visionary. And, I have lost a dear friend,” PM Modi wrote in his blog.
Biden also said the US stands with Japan at this moment of mourning.
“The President underscored that he and the American people stand with the Prime Minister and the people of Japan in their time of mourning,” the White House said.
The leaders also vowed to continue to work together to achieve the objectives Abe had envisioned for Quad. “We will honor Prime Minister Abe’s memory by redoubling our work towards a peaceful and prosperous region,” they said.