STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ON THE PASSING OF FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN SHINZO ABE
I have learned with sadness and shock of the passing of former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
On behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I offer my sincere condolences to Mr Abe’s family, friends and colleagues, as well as the Government and people of Japan as a close and special partner to our nation.
The violence that claimed Prime Minister Abe’s life is a call on all of us to work for non-violence, peace and tolerance in all parts of the globe.
I have been privileged to have a close association with Prime Minister Abe during my term as Deputy President and President of the Republic.
I recall my warm and productive interactions with Prime Minister Abe during my August 2015 visit to Japan as where we made significant progress in strengthening our bilateral relations, especially in the economic sphere, as well as South Africa’s cooperation with Japan in addressing issues on the global agenda.
I reflect similarly on my participation as President of the Republic in the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama in August 2019.
Prime Minister Abe convened this platform under the theme “Advancing Africa’s development through Technology, Innovation and People”, which sought to further deepen trade and investment, capacity and skills development, networking and people’s exchange between African nations and Japan.
Soon after TICAD, I had the pleasure to return to Japan to experience Prime Minister Abe and the government and nation of Japan hosting people from all over the world for the 2019 Rugby World Cup with characteristic efficiency and hospitality.
For the championship final on Saturday, 2 November 2019, I had the honour of sharing a Yokohama International Stadium stand with Prime Minister Abe as we witnessed the Springboks triumph as world champions. His warm embrace and handshake at the final whistle embodied the relationship between our two countries.
It is my wish that the people of Japan and South Africa will find solace in the legacy Prime Minister Abe established in Japan, globally and in the depth of relations between our two countries.
May his soul rest in peace.
ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA