NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — United States Senator Bill Hagerty is mourning the loss of Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe following his assassination.
Abe died on Friday after being shot during a campaign speech in western Japan. Officials in Japan said the former Prime Minister was not breathing and his heart stopped as he was being airlifted to a hospital.
Senator Hagerty is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the former U.S. Ambassador to Japan.
“The world today tragically lost a leading statesman, tireless champion of democratic values, and the greatest Prime Minister in modern Japanese history, my friend Shinzo Abe," he said in a statement. "As the visionary behind the Free and Open Indo-Pacific and the architect of the Quadrilateral Security Partnership, former Prime Minister Abe championed freedom, security, and prosperity amid the rising tide of authoritarian regimes in the world."
He continued, stating that during is tenure as U.S. Ambassador, he cherished their friendship and that he can proudly say the U.S.-Japan Alliance was "profoundly strengthened and raised to new heights by our work together."
"As U.S. Senator, I will continue to uphold his legacy and do my part to ensure that the United States and Japan continue leading our allies and partners in advancing the vision of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific," he added. "On behalf of my wife Chrissy and our four children, I extend my deepest sympathies and prayers to Abe-san’s loved ones and the wonderful people of Japan.”
Police arrested a suspect at the scene of the shooting in Nara.