IOC mourns demise of former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe


Lausanne (Switzerland), July 8

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday mourned the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who passed away hours after being shot while addressing an election rally in the city of Nara.

According to state broadcaster NHK, the attack took place at around 11.30 a.m. (local time) near the Yamatosaidaiji Station in Nara city while Abe was making a speech during a Liberal Democratic Party candidate's election campaign.

"Japan has lost a great statesman, and the IOC has lost a valiant supporter and a dear friend of the Olympic Movement. On behalf of the International Olympic Committee, I would like to extend my most sincere condolences to his family, his friends and the Japanese people," said IOC President Thomas Bach in a statement.

The 68-year-old Bach called Shinzo a man with vision, adding that without the support of the former Japanese PM, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games would never have happened.

"Abe Shinzo was a man with a vision, full of determination and boundless energy to make his vision come true. What I appreciated most about him was that he was a man of his word," he said.

"Only his vision, determination and dependability allowed us to take the unprecedented decision to postpone the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Without Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, these Olympic Games would never have happened, and the Olympic dream of athletes from all around the world would not have come true.

"He also wanted to be with us at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, to show his commitment to the Olympic Movement and the trustful partnership and friendship which developed over time," he added.

The IOC President concluded: "The entire Olympic Movement and I owe him all our respect and gratitude. This is why we will forever hold Abe Shinzo in great honour."

As a mark of the IOC's high esteem, the Olympic flag will be flown at half-mast at Olympic House in Lausanne for three days.

Abe was Japan's longest-serving Prime Minister after serving from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020. He stepped down in 2020 citing health reasons and later revealed that he had suffered a relapse of ulcerative colitis, an intestinal disease.


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