"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Press Conference by Prime Minister Kishida on the Passing of Former Prime Minister ABE Shinzo

[Date] July 8, 2022
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

(On how Prime Minister Kishida regards the passing of former Prime Minister Abe and how the Government will respond from now)

As Nara Medical University Hospital announced a little earlier, at 5:03 PM today, former Prime Minister ABE Shinzo passed away. I prayed that somehow his life would be spared. It is truly unfortunate that these prayers were in vain and we were met instead with this news. I am at a loss for words. I offer my most heartfelt prayers that he rest in peace.

A despicable outrageous act took the life of former Prime Minister Abe, and it was carried out in the midst of an election, the very basis of democracy. This is absolutely intolerable, and I condemn it once again in the strongest possible terms.

Mr. Abe took on the weighty responsibility of being prime minister over a total of eight years and eight months, the longest period in our constitutional history. Through his outstanding leadership and execution ability, he led Japan as it faced a severe state of affairs both domestically and internationally.

My estimation of him is that he worked hard to foster peace and stability for both Japan and the world, building the foundation for that. He did this through his economic policies comprising his "three arrows" that aimed to extract our nation from the long-term deflation that Japan had suffered under, through his efforts to realize a Free and Open Indo-Pacific at a time of extremely challenging international affairs, and through his preparing the Legislation for Peace and Security, among other achievements.

For me personally, former Prime Minister Abe was first elected to the Diet the same year I was, and after becoming legislators we were colleagues, and moreover good friends who spent a lot of time together when I was a minister supporting the Abe Cabinet. It is extremely unfortunate that in this way we have lost a great politician who loved this country and was always examining the era one step into the future, and who in various areas left major achievements intended to carve out the future of this nation. I express my respect for the numerous great achievements that Mr. Abe has left, and I extend my heartfelt sympathies on his passing.

And, as for our future responses, tomorrow is the last day of the House of Councillors election campaign. I believe that free and fair elections, which are the basis of democracy, must be fully defended no matter what. Under our resolute determination never to yield to violence, we will proceed with our election activities tomorrow as originally scheduled. I want us to continue to appeal directly to the public about these matters in our own voices right up until the last second of the election campaign. As we undertake our campaign activities, we will respond by taking great care with regard to security.

In light of today's situation, I convened the Cabinet members a little while ago, and the Government has now confirmed, and also now holds in common, the same recognition of today's events and our responses. At that time, I instructed the Cabinet on two points: first, that we must thoroughly ensure that free and fair elections are held safely, and the other is that we respond dispassionately so that the situation does not lead to sluggishness in the administration of the government and that we do everything possible at our ministries and agencies to respond to the matter.