Big Island Residents Encouraged to Write Condolences for Japan’s Assassinated Prime Minister
Hawaiʻi County, in partnership with the Honorary Consul General of Japan in Hilo, Art Taniguchi, will be hosting “Books of Condolences” in memory of fallen Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The books can be found in the Office of the Mayor in both Hilo and Kona and are open to the public for comment.
After a week, the books will be hand-delivered to the Consul General of Japan in Honolulu and sent off to Japan to be stored and archived for Prime Minister Abe and his ʻohana. The books will be available to the public through Friday, July 15.
“We encourage anyone with a message of solidarity and unity for our Japanese brothers and sisters to come down to the mayor’s office and share that message,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “Prime Minister Abe was a friend to Hawaiʻi and the United States, and through that, there are many across our state who have been impacted by his sudden passing. Regardless of our differences with our elected officials, we should all stand against violence and join the Japanese community in memorial and mourning.”
Abe died after being shot during a speech in western Japan on Friday.
The country’s longest-serving prime minister, Abe was campaigning for a parliamentary election in Nara when he was shot from behind. He arrived at Nara Medical University without any vital signs and was eventually declared deceased.
“Prime Minister Abe was well-respected domestically and internationally, and the world mourns the loss of a great leader and visionary,” said Art Taniguchi, Honorary Consul General of Japan in Hilo. “We are very thankful that Mayor Roth has allowed Books of Condolences in the Mayor’s Offices in Hilo and Kona from Tuesday through Friday. We encourage anyone who wishes to offer their condolences to please go into either the Hilo or Kona offices of the Mayor and share your thoughts during normal office hours.”
The last time the County of Hawaiʻi hosted books of condolences for Japan was in 2011, when The Great Tōhoku earthquake destroyed more than 100,000 buildings and triggered a nuclear disaster.