President Ramaphosa Sends Condolences for Japan's Slain Former PM Shinzo Abe
President Ramaphosa Sends Condolences for Japan's Slain Former PM Shinzo Abe. Photo: 2019, Japan by GCIS

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his condolences to the people of Japan, following the death of the country’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe passed away following a shooting while he was on the campaign trail in the country.

Abe was Japan’s longest serving prime minister until he left the job in 2020 due to health reasons.

“On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I offer my sincere condolences to Mr Abe’s family, friends and colleagues, as well as the Government and people of Japan as a close and special partner to our nation.

“The violence that claimed Prime Minister Abe’s life is a call on all of us to work for non-violence, peace and tolerance in all parts of the globe,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President reflected that during his term as South Africa’s deputy president, he had “been privileged to have a close association with Prime Minister Abe”.

“I recall my warm and productive interactions with Prime Minister Abe during my August 2015 visit to Japan as where we made significant progress in strengthening our bilateral relations, especially in the economic sphere, as well as South Africa’s cooperation with Japan in addressing issues on the global agenda.

“I reflect similarly on my participation as President of the Republic in the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama in August 2019. Prime Minister Abe convened this platform under the theme “Advancing Africa’s development through Technology, Innovation and People”, which sought to further deepen trade and investment, capacity and skills development, networking and people’s exchange between African nations and Japan,” he said.

President Ramaphosa Sends Condolences for Japan's Slain Former PM Shinzo Abe
Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has been killed. Photo: 2016, GCIS

Soon after the TICAD, President Ramaphosa and Abe watched on together in Yokohama as the Springbok’s clinched the Rugby World Cup when it was hosted in Japan during the same year.

“I had the pleasure to return to Japan to experience Prime Minister Abe and the government and nation of Japan hosting people from all over the world for the 2019 Rugby World Cup with characteristic efficiency and hospitality.

“For the championship final on Saturday, 2 November 2019, I had the honour of sharing a Yokohama International Stadium stand with Prime Minister Abe as we witnessed the Springboks triumph as world champions. His warm embrace and handshake at the final whistle embodied the relationship between our two countries,” President Ramaphosa said.

The President reiterated his condolences to the people of Japan.

“It is my wish that the people of Japan and South Africa will find solace in the legacy Prime Minister Abe established in Japan, globally and in the depth of relations between our two countries. May his soul rest in peace,” President Ramaphosa said.

The arrested suspect has been named as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, who was once in the navy and used a home-made shotgun to commit the murder. Yamagami reportedly said he was “frustrated” with Abe, although he said it wasn’t because of his politics.

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