Cambodia on July 10 mourned the death of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was fatally shot by an assassin, with flags ordered to be flown at half mast throughout the Kingdom.

Abe, 67, was shot while speaking at a political campaign event on the morning of July 8 in the southern Japanese city of Nara.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on July 9 offered condolences to Japan’s Royal Family, its government and its people, while also declaring that the Cambodian people would both publicly and privately observe one day of mourning for Abe.

“I order all Cambodian flags to be flown at half mast at public and private establishments to offer our condolences to the people and the government of Japan for the loss of Shinzo Abe, who was a good friend of the Cambodian government and the Cambodian people,” he said.

Hun Sen said he considered Abe a good and patriotic leader who had fulfilled his duties in building friendship with the Cambodian people, and that he had also expanded relations between Cambodia and Japan and elevated bilateral relations to the level of strategic partners since 2013.

He added that Japan had helped Cambodia with building a lot of infrastructure, human resources development and other development programmes.

He said Abe had actively contributed to connecting Japan and ASEAN, which considered the East Asian nation an indispensable partner and that Japan had also played an important role with the Mekong-Japan framework as well as through its meetings with the bloc each year.

According to Hun Sen, Abe had earned great merit with the Cambodian people and all the peoples of the Mekong and ASEAN regions, and that Cambodia would always recall his kind and honest actions and the solidarity he showed.

The premier added that the assassination of Abe was very regrettable and had created pain not only for the people of Japan, but also for the Cambodian people, and that his death had shocked much of the world.

The National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals on July 9 ordered all national and sub-national institutions to observe one day of mourning for Abe’s passing and to fly the flags at half mast on July 10.

When Abe was fatally shot on July 8, Hun Sen immediately sent a letter of condolences to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, saying that he was very shocked and saddened to hear the news.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation also issued a statement on July 8 condemning the shooting, saying that the ASEAN foreign ministers were shocked and saddened by the fatal shooting, calling his murder a barbaric act that was impossible to justify.

The Ministry of Tourism on July 9 instructed all owners of KTVs, entertainment clubs, bars and beer-gardens to suspend their business operations for one day on July 10.

The ministry also instructed owners of restaurants and canteens to suspend the sale of alcohol. The ministry instructed heads of tourism departments in the capital and provinces to disseminate this information and to instruct owners of tourist services to effectively and responsibly implement this suspension.

The Japanese embassy in Phnom Penh announced on July 10 that its compound in the capital and consulate in Siem Reap would be open to the public for them to offer their condolences from July 11-16.

Cambodia’s embassies in Thailand and Vietnam also offered their condolence to Japan by flying their flags at half-mast as well.

“We pray that the soul of Shinzo Abe will rest in peace,” the embassy in Thailand said in a social media post.

Separately, the Kep Provincial Administration on July 10 offered its condolences to Japan.

“All across Kep province, we are deeply saddened by the news of the death [of Shinzo Abe],” wrote the Kep provincial administration.

The provincial information department in Mondulkiri also said that the flags at all state entities and institutions in the province have been flown at half mast to mourn Abe’s passing.