Blinken conveys condolences over loss of Abe to Kishida in Tokyo

The Yomiuri Shimbun
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a media briefing at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo on Monday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday, conveying his condolences over former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s death.

Blinken also handed Kishida a letter from U.S. President Joe Biden for the bereaved family of Abe, who was gunned down during a stump speech on Friday.

“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,” Blinken told reporters after his meeting with Kishida at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo.

“President Biden asked me to come to Tokyo to extend personally his condolences and condolences of the American people on the passing” of the former prime minister, Blinken said, adding, “The American people feel the sense of loss along with the people of Japan.”

“Mostly, I’m here because the United States and Japan are more than allies. We’re friends,” Blinken said. “When one friend is hurting, the other friend shows up.”

The secretary also said, “We will do everything we can to help our friends carry the burden of this loss.”

Blinken made a previously unscheduled stop in Tokyo upon request from Biden on his way back to the United States after attending a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies in Bali, Indonesia.