WASHINGTON—Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts released the following statement Friday in response to the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe:
“Shinzo Abe was a vital partner, a clear-eyed leader in the face of the rising menace of the Chinese Communist Party, and without question, a friend and ally to the United States. His murder robs the Japanese people of one of its most dynamic leaders in their storied history, and it robs the United States and the international community of a man who understood the importance of economic freedom, meaningful diplomacy, and peace through strength.
“Japan has long been a crucially important diplomatic, economic, and security partner to the United States, and our alliance is based on shared values, principles, and objectives. Throughout his time in leadership, Prime Minister Abe worked closely with multiple administrations to advance those interests in the region, to the benefit of both the United States and his own people. In particular, he was a champion for freedom in the Indo-Pacific region. And he was more forceful in his support for Taiwan than any other Japanese prime minister in recent history.
“Today, Japan’s leadership in the region and on the world stage is more important than ever. As Japan moves forward from this horrific day, the United States should make clear to the Japanese people that our commitment to the alliance has never been stronger, and that together, we will work to advance our shared interests and overcome the challenges threatening them.”
Heritage founder and former president, Dr. Edwin Feulner, also released a statement:
“Prime Minister Abe gave me the opportunity to discuss the importance of the bilateral US- Japanese relationship on several occasions. His assassination shocks the world and particularly all who continue to work to keep that relationship strong.
“I extend my deepest sympathy to his family and his countrymen at this very sad moment in history.”