President Joe Biden holds a bouquet as he arrives to sign a condolence book at the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2022, for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was assassinated on Friday while campaigning. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

UPDATED 1:34 PM PT – Friday, July 8, 2022

President Joe Biden said he’s stunned by the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. On Friday, Biden stressed that he’s outraged and deeply saddened by the news. He declared that the US stands with Japan in this moment of grief.

“The longest serving Prime Minister in Japan’s history,” Biden stated. “Abe Shinzo was a proud servant of the Japanese people and a faithful friend to the United States. He worked with American Presidents of both parties to deepen the alliance between our nations and advance a common vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The prime minister was killed after being shot twice in the neck by a homemade weapon during a campaign speech in western Japan. A 41-year-old suspect has been arrested and confessed to the killing. He said he had a grudge against a specific organization and believed Abe was involved.

“Even in the moment he was attacked and killed, he was engaged in the work of democracy, to which he dedicated his life,” Biden proclaimed.

Biden ordered flags to be flown at half staff for two days out of respect. He said the flag is to be lowered at all public buildings, military grounds and US facilities abroad until sunset on Sunday, July 10.

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