Flags to be flown at half-staff after former Japan Prime Minister's assassination
On Friday, President Joe Biden ordered that the flags at the White House, federal buildings and military posts be flown at half-staff “As a mark of respect for the memory of Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan.”
The White House issued the proclamation hours after news broke of the former Prime Minister being assassinated on the street in western Japan while delivering a campaign speech.
In the proclamation, President Biden said Shinzo 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
President Biden directed flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the federal government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories and possessions until sunset on July 10.
The president also directed that the flag be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
This proclamation 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 reports the 67-year-old Abe, who was Japan’s longest-serving leader when he resigned in 2020, was shot from behind minutes after he started his speech Friday in Nara in western Japan. He 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 (40 centimeters) long — and they confiscated similar weapons and his personal computer when they raided his nearby one-room apartment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.