Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a man I counted as both a powerful comrade and a friend, passed away on Friday just five hours after news first broke that he had been shot.

I have never been more shocked in my life. The suspect reportedly confessed that his motive was not a grudge against Shinzo's political creed, although the truth is unknown.

Within half a day after the attack, I received a great number of emails from friends and acquaintances overseas expressing their shock of losing such a dear friend — a man who helped foster stronger ties with Japan and who also promoted a sense of security in a turbulent world.