Ige: Flags to be lowered for Abe, ‘true friend’ of Hawaii

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s governor ordered the U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff to honor former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling the assassinated ex-leader a friend of the islands.

Because flags are already at half-staff honoring victims of an Independence Day parade shooting in Chicago, Hawaii Gov. David Ige said the flags will be lowered in Abe’s memory from sunrise to sunset on Sunday.

Abe, 67, was assassinated on a street in western Japan by a gunman who opened fire on him from behind as he delivered a campaign speech — an attack in a nation with some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere.

Police at the shooting scene arrested Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, a former member of Japan’s navy, on suspicion of murder.

“This senseless act of violence has taken the life of a true friend of Hawaii,” Ige said in a statement. “In our multiple meetings, we shared stories of our past, embraced our common culture, and continued the quest for reconciliation and partnership that has developed between the United States and Japan.”

Ige’s flag order applies to the Hawaii State Capitol, state offices and agencies and the Hawaii National Guard.


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