Flags to be flown at half-staff to honor Shinzo Abe


In this image from a video, Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a campaign speech in Nara, western Japan shortly before he was shot Friday, July 8, 2022. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a divisive arch-conservative and one of his nation’s most powerful and influential figures, has died after being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, hospital officials said.(Kyodo News via AP)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WXIN) — President Joe Biden is directing flags to be flown at half-staff following the assassination of former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

On Friday, Biden ordered that the flags at the White House, federal buildings and military posts be flown at half-staff “as a mark of respect.”

The White House issued the proclamation hours after news broke of the former Prime Minister being shot on the street in western Japan while delivering a campaign speech. Abe collapsed bleeding and was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead from major damage to his heart and two neck wounds.

Police arrested the suspected gunman at the scene and identified him as Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, a former member of Japan’s navy. The AP reports that police said he used a gun that was obviously homemade — about 15 inches long — and they confiscated similar weapons and his personal computer when they raided his nearby one-room apartment.

In his proclamation, President Biden said Abe 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. Even in the moment he was attacked and killed, he was engaged in the work of democracy, to which he dedicated his life.  

President Joe Biden’s proclamation on the death of Abe Shinzo

The flags are set to be flown at half-staff until sunset on July 10.  

Biden’s order also extends the proclamation for flags to be flown at half-staff to remember the victims of the Highland Park Fourth of July parade shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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