It is with the deepest shock and sadness that I received news of the death of Abe Shinzo, former prime minister of Japan. I offer my most sincere respect and condolences to his family and friends, and to all our friends in Japan.
It was my honor to know Prime Minister Abe for more than a decade. I will always remember his charisma, his openness, his kindness, and the strength of his determination to serve Japan with intelligence, imagination, and dignity.
He was a forceful leader and a true friend to the United States. He did much to advance democracy, free trade, and human rights in Asia and throughout the world.
Prime Minister Abe was justly proud not only of Japan's innovative spirit, but of its strength, its resilience and its unity. I know that these qualities will help guide japan through this terrible moment and will again inspire the admiration of the world.
With sincere sorrow and respect,