Kishida Fumio

Opening Statement to the Press Announcing the Death of ABE Shinzō

delivered 8 July 2022

 

  Q: [About PM's thoughts regarding Mr. Abe's passing and the government's response going forward]

PM Kishida: Yes, sir. As Nara Medical University Hospital announced a little earlier, at 5:03 PM today, former Prime Minister ABE Shinzo passed away. I prayed that somehow his life would be spared. It is truly unfortunate that these prayers were in vain and we were met instead with this news. I am at a loss for words. I offer my most heartfelt prayers that he rest in peace. A despicable outrageous act took the life of former Prime Minister Abe, and it was carried out in the midst of an election, the very basis of democracy. This is absolutely intolerable, and I condemn it once again in the strongest possible terms. Mr. Abe took on the weighty responsibility of being prime minister over a total of eight years and eight months, the longest period in our constitutional history. Through his outstanding leadership and execution ability, he led Japan as it faced a severe state of affairs both domestically and internationally.

My estimation of him is that he worked hard to foster peace and stability for both Japan and the world, building the foundation for that. He did this through his economic policies comprising his "three arrows" that aimed to extract our nation from the long-term deflation that Japan had suffered under, through his efforts to realize a Free and Open Indo-Pacific at a time of extremely challenging international affairs, and through his preparing the Legislation for Peace and Security, among other achievements.

For me personally, former Prime Minister Abe was first elected to the Diet the same year I was, and after becoming legislators we were colleagues, and moreover good friends who spent a lot of time together when I was a minister supporting the Abe Cabinet. It is extremely unfortunate that in this way we have lost a great politician who loved this country and was always examining the era one step into the future, and who in various areas left major achievements intended to carve out the future of this nation. I express my respect for the numerous great achievements that Mr. Abe has left, and I extend my heartfelt sympathies on his passing.

Free and fair elections are the foundation of democracy, and I believe that we must absolutely protect this. I believe that we must never give in to violence. For this reason, I will do my utmost in this election campaign until the very end. I hope that you, the people of Japan, will think carefully about what should be done to protect our country's democracy, and I hope that we will work together to protect it.

And, as for our future responses, tomorrow is the last day of the House of Councillors election campaign. I believe that free and fair elections, which are the basis of democracy, must be fully defended no matter what. Under our resolute determination never to yield to violence, we will proceed with our election activities tomorrow as originally scheduled. I want us to continue to appeal directly to the public about these matters in our own voices right up until the last second of the election campaign. As we undertake our campaign activities, we will respond by taking great care with regard to security.

In light of today's situation, I convened the Cabinet members a little while ago, and the Government has now confirmed, and also now holds in common, the same recognition of today's events and our responses. At that time, I instructed the Cabinet on two points: first, that we must thoroughly ensure that free and fair elections are held safely, and the other is that we respond dispassionately so that the situation does not lead to sluggishness in the administration of the government and that we do everything possible at our ministries and agencies to respond to the matter.

Q: [About how should the government mourn the loss of the deceased]

PM Kishida: Yes, sir. The reality is that we have not yet had time to think about the future, as you have asked. Naturally, he was a former Prime Minister who made great achievements, so the government and the party should pay their respects to him and think about how to respond to his passing.

Q: [Regarding PM Kishida's message to the public in the run-up to the election in the wake of this incident].

PM Kishida: Yes, sir, I believe that we must protect free and fair elections, which are the foundation of democracy. I believe that we must never give in to violence. For this reason, I will do my utmost in this election campaign until the very end. I hope that you, the people of Japan, will think carefully about what should be done to protect our country's democracy, and I hope that we will work together to protect it.

Q: [About what former Prime Minister Abe meant to the Kishida administration].

PM Kishida:  Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as the former Prime Minister of Japan, he made great achievements. And I believe that the current administration is also at the end of the stream of such great achievements. Therefore, he gave me a lot of valuable advice when I was thinking about the future, both in domestic policy and diplomacy. That advice was from former Prime Minister Abe. He gave me various valuable advices, encouraged me at times, and gave me various opinions at other times. I would like to thank you again for your warm and valuable support. I would like to continue to fulfill my responsibility for Japan by taking on board the thoughts of former Prime Minister Abe and carrying them forward. I believe that this is the way to follow the wishes of former Prime Minister Abe.

[Press conference continues for a few more minutes but English translation ends at this point]


 

質問: [安倍元総理の逝去の受け止め及び今後の政府の対応について]

岸田首相: 先ほど、奈良県立医科大学附属病院から公表されましたとおり、本日午後5時3分、安倍晋三(しんぞう)元総理がお亡くなりになられました。どうか一命を取り留めていただきたいと祈っておりましたが、祈りもむなしくこうした報に接することになってしまったこと、誠に残念であり言葉もありません。心より御冥福をお祈りしたいと思います。民主主義の根幹たる選挙が行われている中、安倍元総理の命を奪った卑劣な蛮行が行われた。断じて許せるものではなく、最も強い言葉で、改めて非難を申し上げます。安倍元総理は、憲政史上最長となる8年8か月にわたり内閣総理大臣の重責を担われ、卓越したリーダーシップ、そして実行力によって、厳しい内外情勢に直面する我が国を導かれました。我が国が長年苦しんできたデフレからの脱却を目指した「3本の矢」からなる経済政策、さらには国際情勢大変厳しい中にあって、「自由で開かれたインド太平洋」の実現に向けた取組、さらには平和安全法制の整備など、我が国の、そして世界の平和と安定のために努力され、その礎を築かれた、このように認識しております。そして、安倍元総理は私にとりましても当選同期であり、国会議員になってからも同僚議員として、また安倍内閣を支える一閣僚として多くの時間を共にした良き友人でもありました。この国を愛し、常に時代の一歩先を見通し、この国の未来を切り拓(ひら)くために大きな実績を様々な分野で残された偉大な政治家をこうした形で失ってしまったこと、重ね重ね残念でなりません。安倍元総理の残された様々な御功績に敬意を表し、心から哀悼の意を表する次第であります。
 そして今後の対応でありますが、明日は参議院選の最終日を迎えます。民主主義の根幹たる自由で公正な選挙は、絶対に守り抜かなければならないと思っています。決して暴力に屈しないという断固たる決意の下、明日は予定どおり選挙活動を進めることといたします。選挙戦の最後の瞬間まで、そのことを自分の声で直接国民の皆さんに訴え続けたいと思っています。なお、活動に当たりまして、安全確保につきましては、十二分に配慮し対応してまいります。今回の事態を受け、先ほど閣僚を集め、政府として、今回の事態を受けた認識と対応の確認・共有を行いました。その際に私の方から2点、1つは自由で公正な選挙が安全に行われることを徹底するということ、そしてもう1点、決して行政の停滞を招くことがないように粛々と対応し、司司(つかさつかさ)で対応に万全を期すこと、以上、この2点を指示したところであります。

質問: [政府としての追悼の仕方について]

岸田首相: まだ今、お亡くなりになったという報に接して、御質問のような先のことまで、考える余裕がないというのが現実であります。当然のことながら、こうした大きな功績を残した元総理でありますので、政府としても、そして党としましても、それ相当の敬意を表して、しっかりとした対応を考えていくべきであると考えております。

質問: [今回の事件を受けた選挙に向けての国民へのメッセージについて]

岸田首相: 民主主義の根幹である自由で公正な選挙、これは私たちは絶対に守り抜かなければならないと思っています。決して暴力に屈するなどということはあってはならない、こう信じております。そのために、私も最後までこの選挙戦に全力で臨んでいきたいと思います。是非、国民の皆さんも、私たちのこの国の民主主義を守るためにどうあるべきなのか、これをしっかり考えていただき、共にこの民主主義を守るために努力していただければとお願い申し上げます。

質問: [岸田政権にとって安倍元総理がどのような存在であったかについて]

岸田首相: 安部晋三元総理、日本国の元総理として大きな功績を残された。そして、そうした大きな功績の流れの先に今の政権もあるのだと思っています。よって、内政においても、外交においても、今後を考える際に、様々な貴重なアドバイスを頂いた。それが安倍元総理でいらっしゃいました。私も様々な貴重なアドバイスを頂き、ある時は励ましていただき、ある時はいろいろな御意見を承るなど、大変力強いお力添えを頂いてきたと振り返っています。大変温かい貴重なお力添えを頂いてきたことを改めて感謝申し上げる次第です。こうした安倍元総理の思い、これをしっかりと私も受け止め、引き継がせていただきながら、日本について、引き続きしっかりと責任を果たしていきたいと思っています。それが安倍元総理の思いにも沿う道であると信じております。

質問: [総理の明日の日程について]

岸田首相: 私の選挙日程については、選挙戦終盤、いろんな意見がありました。調整を行いました。結果として、今、明日の日程は山梨県と新潟県、2県であると承知しています。


Original English Language Text Source: Official Website of the Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet at: https://japan.kantei.go.jp/101_kishida/statement/202207/_00004.html. Text following the initial opening statement translated via DeepL from the Japanese transcript provided above.

Original Japanese Language Text Source: Official Website of the Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet at: https://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/101_kishida/statement/2022/0708kaiken2.html

Original Video Source: Official Website of the Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet at: https://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/101_kishida/statement/2022/0708kaiken2.html. Frame enhanced to 60fps.

Original Audio Source: Official Website of the Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet at: https://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/101_kishida/statement/2022/0708kaiken2.html. Ripped from video and digitally enhanced for clarity and force.

Page Updated: 8/4/22

U.S. Copyright Status: Texts, Audio, Video = Used in compliance with the terms found here. Image of Flag of Japan = Public domain.

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