Blinken praises Abe’s legacy on impromptu visit to Tokyo

(Update 1: Adds details and edits throughout, changes headline and lede)

Tokyo, Jul 11 (EFE).- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday received US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who traveled to Tokyo to personally convey his condolences for the assassination of former leader Shinzo Abe.

“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. We will do anything we can to help our friends in carrying the burden of this loss,” said the head of US diplomacy after the meeting, according to the footage of public broadcaster NHK.

Abe died on Friday at the age of 67 after he was shot while giving a stump speech in the city of Nara ahead of Sunday’s Upper House election, which was swept by his party, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Blinken said that Abe was an unwavering advocate of the alliance between Japan and the US and greatly strengthened cooperation with the US and other allies.

He arrived in Japan early Monday to personally express his condolences over Abe’s murder after changing the schedule of his trip to Asia to stop in Tokyo before returning to Washington.

He had been scheduled to return to Washington after visiting Thailand on Sunday, where he arrived from the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Bali, from where he had reacted to Abe’s murder on Friday, describing it as a “tragedy.”

Kishida received the head of US diplomacy after speaking by phone on Saturday with President Joe Biden, with whom he discussed how Abe’s legacy will live on in their alliance.

Blinken made a first stop at the US Embassy in Tokyo before heading to the Kantei, the official residence and office of the prime minister, along with US ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel for a closed-door 10-minute meeting with Kishida.

The Japanese leader said he was “deeply grateful for the warm feelings of the United States,” including Blinken’s personal visit and the conversation he had with Biden. Blinken brought a letter from Biden addressed to the family of Abe, he revealed to journalists.

On the murder, Kishida insisted: “I cannot forgive the (…) barbarism that occurred during the elections, which are the basis of democracy. As the incumbent prime minister, I will not give in to violence and (will) protect democracy, and the will of former prime minister Abe.”

He assured that he will continue Abe’s legacy and strive to strengthen Japan’s alliance with the US. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button