HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige is ordering the United States flag and the Hawaii state flag to be flown at half-staff from sunrise until sunset on Sunday, July 10, to honor the memory of Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated during a campaign speech on Friday.
Flags in Hawaii are currently at half-staff to honor victims of the Highland Park shooting until sunset on Saturday, July 9.
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Ige released a statement that said he was devastated by the news of Abe’s assassination, calling the former Prime Minister a true friend of Hawaii.
Other Hawaii officials also released statements expressing their condolences. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi called Abe’s death a devastating blow to those around the world who admired his principles when it came to leadership and democracy.
Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said Abe will be remembered not only as Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, but also for his work in seeking world peace and strengthening relationships throughout the Pacific.
Kauai County Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami said Abe’s kindness and leadership have touched everyone, especially on Kauai where their ties with Japan are tightly knit.
County of Hawaii Mayor Mitch Roth said he considers Abe to be the most transformational politician in Japan’s post-World War II history.
Abe’s assassination has shocked the world, with Japan having some of the strictest gun control laws. According to officials, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami allegedly built his own weapon to circumvent the nation’s tight gun regulations. Police confiscated similar homemade weapons when they raided his apartment. Yamagami, a former member of Japan’s navy, has been arrested.
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Abe was shot in the back while campaigning in the city of Nara for candidates for his governing party. He died at the age of 67, two days ahead of parliamentary elections.