BANGKOK — The State Department announced Sunday that U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken would pay a short condolence trip to Japan following the assassination attempt on former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Blinken is scheduled to travel to Tokyo Monday morning to pay respects to his predecessor leader, and to meet with Japanese officials. He will then return to Washington after a tour of Asia that he has just completed.
“Secretary Blinken will visit Tokyo, Japan to express condolences and meet with Japanese officials,” Ned Price, spokesperson for the State Department, said in a statement. The U.S.-Japan Alliance has been the foundation of stability and peace in the Indo-Pacific since its creation .”
Blinken was in Thailand for a scheduled visit. He had previously been in Indonesia Friday, attending the Group of 20 countries’ foreign ministers meeting. Abe was then shot and killed. In the wake of Abe’s murder, he will be the highest ranking U.S. diplomat to visit Japan.
Blinken stated Saturday that Abe’s death was a tragedy for the world. He, along with many former and current U.S. officials, also praised the visionary former prime minister.
“Prime minister Abe was an extraordinary leader, statesman and someone with truly global stature,” Blinken said to reporters. Blinken said that Abe’s passing had shaken the G -20, with several of his foreign ministry colleagues reacting to the shock and dismay at the news.
Shortly after Abe’s death, Blinken and Hayashi Yoshimasa, the Japanese Foreign Minister, met in Bali to discuss strategy related to North Korea. Blinken stressed the vitality of U.S.-Japan relations in that meeting as well as another on Saturday.
” The alliance between Japan, the United States and other countries has been an integral part of our foreign policy over many decades. As I stated yesterday, Prime Minister Abe truly brought this partnership to new heights,” said he.
” The friendship between the Japanese people and Americans is also unshakeable,” Blinken stated. In the wake of an appalling act .”
of violence, we stand with Japan’s people and with its prime minister.