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Home日本Blinken offers condolences to Kishida in person over Abe's death

Blinken offers condolences to Kishida in person over Abe’s death

TOKYO (Kyodo) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday offered his government’s condolences to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead during a stump speech last week.

“We American people feel a sense of loss along with the people of Japan,” Blinken said after meeting Kishida at the prime minister’s office. He changed his schedule following a trip to Thailand so he could stop over in Japan before returning to the United States.

Calling Abe “a man of vision with the ability to realize that vision,” Blinken told reporters, “In his time in office, Prime Minister Abe did more than anyone to elevate the relationship between the United States and Japan to new heights.”

In the meeting, Kishida thanked Blinken for his visit and the warm feelings extended by the United States, telling him he wants to uphold Abe’s legacy by reinforcing the bilateral alliance, according to the Japanese government.

Blinken told reporters he shared with Kishida letters to the Abe family from U.S. President Joe Biden. “We will do everything we can to help our friends carry the burden of this loss,” he said.

Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister who left office in 2020, was fatally shot Friday by a 41-year-old man while he was delivering a stump speech on a street in the western city of Nara ahead of Sunday’s House of Councillors election.

Kishida on Saturday spoke with Biden by phone. They discussed how Abe’s legacy will live on as their countries continue the important task of defending peace and democracy, according to the White House.

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