ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has offered its condolence to Japan after the former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died on Friday.
Abe died on Friday after being shot while giving a campaign speech on a street in central Japan, according to public broadcaster NHK.
“Ethiopia has learned with dismay about the tragic death of Japan’s former Prime Minister and a good friend of Ethiopia, Mr. Shinzo Abe,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia in a statement.
The ministry “strongly condemns the cowardly attack that claimed the life of Mr. Abe, who played an instrumental role in deepening the historical ties between the two countries”. He also took the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to a new height.
Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry expressed “heartfelt condolences” to the friendly people of Japan and Abe’s family.
Abe had been delivering a speech near a train station in the western city of Nara, when he was shot by an assailant at about 11.30am local time, chief Cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Friday.
Japanese security officials at the scene tackled the gunman and a 41-year-old suspect is now in police custody.
The suspect, named as Tetsuya Yamagami, admitted shooting Abe with a homemade gun, and said he had a grudge against a “specific organization” he believed Abe was connected to, police said.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he was “lost for words” after the assassination and condemned the attack, saying: “It is barbaric and malicious and it cannot be tolerated.”
.- EM/News Agencies
Featured Photo Caption: In a photograph taken moments before the attack, the alleged gunman can be seen standing behind Mr Abe in a grey t-shirt with a black bag. [Photo Reuters]