Statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III

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“The Department of Defense is stunned and deeply saddened by the senseless murder of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. His killing is a tragedy for the people of Japan and for all those who value a free and open Indo-Pacific. As Prime Minister, Mr. Abe championed the vital and enduring alliance between our two democracies, paving the way for Japan to play an even larger role in our alliance. His work to strengthen alliances and partnerships across the Indo-Pacific – including through venues such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue of Japan, India, Australia and the United States – leaves a legacy of a more secure, stable and prosperous region.

“The tremendous sense of loss is magnified by the tragic circumstances of his assassination. A violent assault on peaceful democratic processes anywhere is an assault on democracy everywhere. I also know that my counterpart and friend, Defense Minister Kishi, is enduring profound personal grief at this moment. To him and his family, and to the people of Japan: please know that I and the entire Department of Defense stand with you as allies and friends in this time of shock and sorrow.”

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