Gov. DeSantis, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott mourn Shinzo Abe following assassination
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'A heck of an ally to this country.'

Shinzo Abe, a conservative who was Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister through 2020, was gunned down during a speech Friday he was delivering on behalf of a candidate.

On Friday, Florida leadership, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, mourned that singular loss.

DeSantis led off a press conference in Cape Coral with “condolences to the people of Japan for the assassination of Shinzo Abe.”

“Shinzo was a great leader, a great man, and was a heck of an ally to this country. He understood freedom, he understood the threat posed by China, and he understood the importance of having a strong U.S.-Japan relationship,” DeSantis said.

“The world lost a really, really great leader, and we hope the people of Japan can get through this time properly,” DeSantis added.

Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott issued separate statements mourning the assassination of a former Japanese Prime Minister Friday, offering prayer, condolences and a recognition of his geopolitical role.

“This senseless act of violence, which took the life of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, grieves the world,” Rubio said. “During his tenure as Prime Minister, he was one of our most important allies in our efforts to build a free and open Indo-Pacific. Jeanette and I unite in prayer for the people of Japan, as well as Akie Abe, following this heinous assassination.”

An “outraged and deeply saddened” Scott offered his own statement, meanwhile, mourning the loss of a man he called a “great and true champion for democracy … an unapologetic believer in democracy and one of the strongest voices for freedom across the Indo-Pacific.”

“The horrific assassination of former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has shocked the world & stolen from freedom-loving people everywhere a great & true champion for democracy. Ann & I are praying for the Abe family, the people of Japan & for needed peace following this tragic loss,” Scott wrote.

Scott traveled to Japan this week, coincidentally, shoring up the alliance that Abe did so much to promulgate with the United States.

Abe had two stints as Japanese Prime Minister, eventually winning six national elections.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski



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