Prime Minister Hun Sen on July 8 sent a letter of condolence and sympathy to the bereaved family and the people of Japan for the loss of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe, 67, was pronounced dead in hospital by officials earlier that day, after he was shot while delivering a campaign speech in western Japan’s Nara city.

In the letter, addressed to Japanese Prime Minster Fumio Kishida, Hun Sen said he was “extremely shocked” and “deeply saddened” to learn of Abe’s passing “resulting from the daylight assassination”.

“On behalf of the Royal Government and the people of Cambodia, I would like to convey my heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy to Your Excellency, and through you, to the bereaved family, as well as the Japanese people on this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with Your Excellency and the Japanese people in this time of grief,” he said.

Hun Sen described Abe as “an outstanding Japanese statesman” who had been “widely acknowledged and praised for his able leadership to move Japan forward and for his active contribution to peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and beyond.

“A long-time good friend of mine and Cambodia, the Late Prime Minister Abe Shinzo had worked closely with me in enhancing the bilateral relations between Cambodia and Japan during his premiership, including the elevation of our bilateral cooperation to Strategic Partnership in 2013. His Excellency Abe will be dearly missed, and his legacy will be forever remembered,” he said.