SECRETARY BLINKEN: Good morning. We just came from seeing Prime Minister Kishida. I am fully grateful to him for taking time to see us in this incredibly difficult time. And the reason we’re here is because President Biden asked me to personally, on behalf of the President, on behalf of the American people, extend our condolences on the passing of former Prime Minister Abe.
I shared with our Japanese colleagues the sense of loss, the sense of shock that we all feel, the American people feel, at this horrific tragedy and killing. It’s such a loss too because during his time in office Prime Minister Abe really took the relationship between our countries to new heights. And as I shared with our colleagues, we saw in him something rare – a man of vision who had the ability to realize that vision. But mostly I came at the President’s behest because, more than allies, we’re friends. And when a friend is hurting, other friends show up. We try to help ease the burden, share the sense of loss, give a shoulder, and that’s what we’re trying to do today.
I shared letters that President Biden had written to the Abe family, to the prime minister. And mostly, I thought it was just important to show our solidarity with our friend Japan and the Japanese people in this difficult time. Thank you.