Asian leaders react to attack on Abe, pray for recovery

Jul 08 , 2022. 15 minutes ago – 16:02 KYODO NEWS

Televisions in Taipei on July 8, 2022, show the news that former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot earlier in the day. Abe was giving a stump speech for the July 10 House of Councillors election at the time of the attack. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo


TAIPEI/SYDNEY – Leaders in the Asia-Pacific region quickly reacted to an armed attack on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, expressing condemnation and distress and wishing him a swift recovery.

Abe “has spared no effort to promote the development of Taiwan-Japan relations,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen wrote on Facebook, condemning the attack. “Not only is he a very good friend for me, but also a sincere friend for Taiwan.”

On Twitter, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said, “Shocking news from Japan that former PM Shinzo Abe has been shot — our thoughts are with his family and the people of Japan at this time.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a Twitter post, said, “Deeply distressed by the attack on my dear friend Abe Shinzo. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and the people of Japan.”

Taiwanese Vice President William Lai wrote on Twitter in Japanese, “I’m praying for your safety.”

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, to whom the Japanese government awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun in April for his services to the Japan-Australia relationship, called the attack a shocking act of violence against one of the world’s leading democratic statesmen.

“Australia has never had a better friend in Japan than Shinzo Abe, which is why we are so numbed by this appalling act,” Abbott said in a tweet. “We all have to hope and pray that he somehow pulls through.”

Abe was shot during a stump speech in the western city of Nara and taken to hospital. He is apparently showing no vital signs. The gunman, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder, police said.