Japanese Prime Minister expresses ‘deep sorrow’ over Queen’s death – Copyright AFP Yuichi YAMAZAKI
The death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is a “great loss” for the world, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday, expressing “deep sorrow”.
“The death of the Queen, who led the UK through turbulent times in the world, is a great loss not only for the British people, but also for the international community,” he told reporters.
Kishida praised the Queen’s “extremely important role in bringing peace and stability to the world”, stating that she “contributed greatly to the strengthening of Japanese-British relations”.
He expressed the condolences of the government and said that the news of her death caused him “deep sorrow”.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said flags would be flown at half mast in Japan in honor of the late monarch.
Noboru Suzuki, 81, was among those who came to pay their condolences outside the British Embassy in Tokyo, where some people left flowers at the gate.
“The British royal family is one of the most famous, so I’m sure the whole world is saddened, but since Japan has its own imperial family, we are also in shock,” he told AFP.
Another mourner, Yasuko Osawa, 54, said she studied in the UK twice, and her trips coincided with the heyday of Princess Diana’s popularity.
“So my path crossed with the British royal family, even if only a little,” she said.
Osawa has said that her generation in Japan has embraced British music and “everyone around me goes to study in the UK”.
“British royalty have had their fair share of scandals, but I sincerely hope they can get over this loss,” she said, adding that the Queen “really deserves a state funeral.”
Japan will hold a state funeral for slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this month, an event that has sparked controversy in part because of its $12 million price tag.