Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe answers a question during his press conference about the coronavirus situation in Japan, at the Prime Minister’s office in Tokyo Saturday, March 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) ((AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) / AP Newsroom)
"I am shocked by the loss of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe," Cook wrote. "He was such an important leader and I was honored to have spent time with him. Our hearts are with his loved ones—and all of our friends in Japan."
Cook met with Abe during a trip to Japan in October 2016. During the meeting, the pair discussed Apple's plans to build a development center in the city of Yokohoma, as well as ways Japanese companies could work with the tech giant to develop new services.
ABE ASSASSINATION VIDEOS REMOVED FROM FACEBOOK, TWITTER
Cook was not the only member of the business community to comment on Abe's death.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk called the former prime minister's death "terrible news."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called Abe a "great friend" who the group had the honor of hosting several times.
"He helped elevate the U.S.-Japan relationship, and promoted our strong business and economic ties. Both our nations saw a growth in jobs and prosperity because of this important work and partnership," the organization said in a statement. "He will be a remembered as a great leader who championed multilateralism and defended democracy. He will be greatly missed by all of us. Our thoughts are with his wife and family."
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In addition to the business community, prominent U.S. political figures have paid their respects to Abe, including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, former Vice President Mike Pence, former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Several world leaders have also paid tribute to Abe, including French President Emmanuel Macron, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Olaf Schultz.
The 67-year-old was Japan's longest-serving prime minister. He served from 2006 to 2007 and again in 2012 until he resigned in 2020 after his ulcerative colitis, a chronic condition, resurfaced, calling his decision at the time "gut-wrenching."
During his term, he focused on the economy, rebuilding Japan's military and being a larger player in international affairs.
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