ATTACK ON DEMOCRACY Irish politicians pay tribute to ‘real gentleman’ Abe Shinzo – the first Japanese leader to visit Ireland
TAOISEACH Michael Martin decried Shinzo Abe’s “appalling death.”
Fianna Fail’s leader praised Mr. Abe’s career on behalf of the Irish people.
Mr. Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister until 2020, was shot at 11.30 am while giving a campaign speech in Nara.
One suspect was arrested after the shooting.
Mr. Martin said of the former PM’s death, “He was a strong and committed democrat, and it’s shocking that he was murdered while campaigning for an election.”
“As democratic politicians, we believe in putting arguments before voters and asking for their vote.
“Attacking former PM Abe is attacking democracy. It’s shocking that it happened in peace-loving Japan.
“My deepest sympathies go out to the Japanese people, whom PM Abe served with such dedication and distinction, to Prime Minister Kishida and his colleagues, and especially to Mr. Abe’s family.
“On behalf of the Irish government and people, I offer condolences and solidarity.”
Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who met Abe in Japan, also paid tribute. Enda Kenny led the 2013 trip to Japan.
Mr. Abe visited Dublin in 2013 after attending the G8 Summit in Co Fermanagh.
Mr. Coveney told RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, “He was a gentleman.”
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar, who met Mr. Abe in 2018, expressed sorrow.
He tweeted, “Shocked and saddened by Shinzo Abe’s murder.”
I met him several times, including during his 2013 visit to Ireland. He was a true gentleman and democrat.
His family, friends, and the Japanese people are in my thoughts today.
The Irish embassy in Japan expressed shock at Abe’s shooting.
The Embassy tweeted, “Our team is deeply saddened by Abe Shinzo’s death.” Condolences to his family and the Japanese people.”