Just hours after Shinzo Abe was gunned down, he succumbed to his injuries. Leading politicians are shocked by the death of the ex-Japanese prime minister.

The ultimately fatal attack on ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is causing grief and horror far beyond Japan. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) reacted with great dismay to the violent death of Japan’s ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “The fatal assassination attempt on Shinzo Abe leaves me stunned and deeply saddened,” Scholz wrote on Twitter on Friday. “Even in these difficult hours, we stand closely by Japan’s side.” The Chancellor expressed his “deep condolences” to Abe’s family and the incumbent Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida.

Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi has expressed his condolences to the people of Japan. “Italy is dismayed by the terrible assassination that has hit Japan and free democratic debate,” the Draghis official said. Abe was a great protagonist of political life in Japan and the world.

The “brutal and cowardly murder” of Abe “shocked the world,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter. She mourns with Abe’s family and friends and everyone in Japan. At the same time, she appreciates the ex-head of government as a great democrat.

EU Council President Charles Michel praised the ex-Prime Minister on Twitter as a “great man” and declared: “Japan, the Europeans mourn with you.”

Blinken and Macron react to Abe’s death

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Indonesia in a first reaction to the assassination that the US was “deeply concerned”. French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the “vile” attack” on Abe, while Russia spoke of an “act of terrorism”. Kremlin boss Putin called Abe’s violent death an “irreplaceable loss”. South Korea and China condemned the assassination.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was also concerned on Twitter and offered his condolences to Abe’s family: “Deeply saddened by the hideous murder of Shinzo Abe, a defender of democracy and my long-time friend and colleague,” wrote the former Norwegian Prime Minister on Twitter. “My deepest condolences to his family and the people of NATO partner country Japan at this difficult time.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted: “Horrible news about the brutal assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. I offer my deepest condolences to his family and the Japanese people at this difficult time. There is no excuse for this heinous act of violence.”

Former British Prime Minister Theresa May hailed Abe as “a statesman of the highest caliber. A dependable partner and trusted ally. A superb host. But also the warmest and kindest friend.”

The Dutch royal family said: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the fatal attack on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. We have fond memories of our contacts with him during bilateral visits and through the UN. Our thoughts are on this sad day with his family. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima”

Ex-Federal Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) tweeted about Abe’s death: “His relatives and all

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LPD) said there had been no threats against the ex-Prime Minister prior to the attack and that his speech had been announced publicly. A similar act was last seen in Japan in 1960, when Socialist Party leader Inejiro Asanuma was assassinated, said political scientist Corey Wallace of Kanagawa University. Asanuma had been stabbed to death by a far-right student.