PM Modi after Shinzo Abe attacked during campaign speech: ‘Prayers with him…’

Published on Jul 08, 2022 11:16 AM IST

Shinzo Abe attacked: Abe was shot at from behind while he was delivering a campaign speech. 

PM Modi and Shinzo Abe seen in a file photo. 
PM Modi and Shinzo Abe seen in a file photo. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday condemned the attack on Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest serving premier. Abe was shot during a campaign speech in Nara city and he was said to have suffered from a cardiac arrest after the attack.

Shinzo Abe served as Japan’s PM for about eight years, and during his tenure, PM Modi had often addressed him as a “dear friend”.

“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,” PM Modi tweeted on Friday.

In 2020, PM Modi had said that Abe was the one of the first world leaders to congratulate him for the 2019 Lok Sabha election win. “...You were the first friend of India who congratulated me, on phone. I also express my gratitude for the warm welcome you and Japan Government have accorded to us,” he had said during a visit to Japan for the G20 summit. He had visited the country to meet Abe in 2018 too.

Abe too had visited India during his tenure as the country’s premier and met PM Modi.

In 2020, when Abe decided to quit due to ill health, PM Modi had tweeted: "Pained to hear about your ill health, my dear friend @AbeShinzo. In recent years, with your wise leadership and personal commitment, the India-Japan partnership has become deeper and stronger than ever before. I wish and pray for your speedy recovery.”

The incident has plunged the country into a shock, which is usually believed to have very low levels of violent crimes.

Abe was delivering a speech at an event ahead of Sunday's upper house elections when he was reportedly shot from behind. "He was giving a speech and a man came from behind," a young woman at the scene told NHK, news agency AFP reported, adding that Japan has some of the world's toughest gun-control laws, and annual deaths from firearms in the country of 125 million people are regularly in single figures.

Meanwhile, several other nations have reacted over the attack on Abe. “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,” Australian PM Athony Albanese tweeted.

The United States is "saddened and shocked" by the shooting of Japan's former prime minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. ambassador Rahm Emanuel said on Friday.

(With inputs from AFP, Reuters)

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