President Joe Biden bemoaned gun violence in a Friday statement about the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.
“I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and killed while campaigning. This is a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him,” Biden said in a statement.
“His vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific will endure. Above all, he cared deeply about the Japanese people and dedicated his life to their service. Even at the moment he was attacked, he was engaged in the work of democracy,” Biden continued.
I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and killed. He was a champion of the friendship between our people.
The United States stands with Japan in this moment of grief.
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 8, 2022
“While there are many details that we do not yet know, we know that violent attacks are never acceptable and that gun violence always leaves a deep scar on the communities that are affected by it. The U.S. stands with Japan in this moment of grief.” (RELATED: NPR Deletes Tweet Calling Assassinated Prime Minister ‘A Divisive Arch-Conservative’)
Despite Biden invoking gun violence, Japan rarely sees shooting deaths given their strict gun control. Citizens are not allowed to own handguns, although licensed hunters can obtain rifles, Reuters reported. Those who do own a gun must pass a written test, take certain classes, and undergo a mental health evaluation and background check, according to the report.
Abe was fatally shot during a campaign speech for a Japanese Liberal Democratic Party candidate in the city of Nara. Abe, 67, went into cardiopulmonary arrest and died from excessive bleeding after suffering two gunshot wounds.
The alleged gunman is a former Japanese military member who used a homemade firearm to carry out the assassination, according to Reuters.