Blinken stops in Japan to pay respects after Abe’s assassination

Secretary of State Antony Blinken stopped Monday in Tokyo to supply condolences after the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Blinken was already touring in Southeast Asia for conferences with leaders of the Group of Seven main industrialized international locations and the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation group.

Blinken met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and different senior authorities officers.

“I’m actually grateful to him for taking time to see us on this extremely troublesome time,” Blinken stated afterward. “And the rationale we’re right here is that President Biden requested me personally on behalf of the president, on behalf of the American individuals to increase our condolences on the passing of former Prime Minister Abe.”

The U.S. State Division stated earlier within the day that the U.S.-Japan Alliance is a “cornerstone” of peace and stability within the Indo-Pacific.

Blinken on Monday praised Abe as “a person of imaginative and prescient.”

“I shared with our Japanese colleagues the sense of loss, the sense of shock that all of us really feel, the American individuals really feel, at this horrific tragedy and killing,” the secretary stated. “Throughout his time in workplace, Prime Minister Abe actually took the connection between our international locations to new heights.” 

Abe, 67, was shot and killed at a marketing campaign occasion in Nara, close to Kyoto, on Friday. Blinken has thus far been probably the most senior U.S. official to go to the nation since his demise.

Biden condemned the assault Friday, calling Abe a “champion of the alliance between our nations and the friendship between our individuals.”

Later within the day, Biden issued a proclamation ordering that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff on the White Home and in any respect authorities buildings and army bases in Abe’s reminiscence.

Blinken’s last-minute cease in Tokyo preceded his return to the US, which was anticipated to incorporate a cease in Anchorage.

Dennis Romero contributed.