Kishida: Abe was a great politician

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida answers questions from reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida praised his predecessor Shinzo Abe for his outstanding leadership, after Abe was shot dead during a street speech in Nara City on Friday.

“I was praying he would survive, but my prayers were in vain, and I’ve heard the news,” Kishida said to reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday night. “I’m truly sorry and have no words to express my regret. I pray from the bottom of my heart that he may rest in peace.”

Kishida described Abe as a leader who “led our country in the face of a difficult domestic and international situation through his outstanding leadership and ability to take action.”

The prime minister added: “He was a great politician who loved this country and was always one step ahead of us. He leaves behind many achievements in diverse fields that have opened the way to the future. I’m very sorry that we’ve lost him in this way.”