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Isa Soares Tonight
U.S. Reacts To Shinzo Abe's Assassination; U.S. Added 372,000 Jobs In June, Beating Estimates Of 272,000; Search Underway To Replace Boris Johnson As British PM; Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Assassinated; Ukraine Reports Of Fierce Shelling In Donbas; U.K. Hunt For A New Prime Minister. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 08, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm ISA SOARES TONIGHT. Shock and grief in Japan as former Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe is assassinated. We'll bring you the very latest. Then Ukraine faces fierce shelling in the Donbas region as Russia pushes forward
with its offensive. We're live a bit tonight in Kyiv.
And then later, in the U.K., the hunt for a new prime minister is on with contenders already throwing their hats in the ring. We'll take you live to
10 Downing Street. But first, Japan in shock and mourning after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Mr. Abe was shot in
broad daylight while giving a speech on a street in central Japan.
That moment was caught on camera. And a warning, the video is disturbing. You can see Mr. Abe speaking to a crowd there when two loud shots run out,
and then smoke fills the air. Police detained the subject, a 41-year-old man at the scene, they say he confessed and has been charged.
Abe was rushed to a hospital and was declared dead hours later. Doctors say the bullet that killed the longest-serving Japanese prime minister was,
quote, deep enough to reach his heart. CNN's Blake Essig is in Tokyo and has more about Japan's dark day.
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was speaking at a campaign rally east of Osaka on
Thursday when chaos ensued. Two shots can be heard, Abe is hit in the chest and neck. The weapon, a hand-made gun lying on the ground.
Bystanders tried to aid the former prime minister before he was rushed to the nearest hospital. But soon, news broke, he had succumbed to his
injuries, and died age 67.
HIDENORI FUKUSHIMA, PROFESSOR, NARA MEDICAL UNIVERSITY (through translator): There were two bullet wounds, he was in a cardiopulmonary
arrest after damage to large blood vessels in the heart. We took resuscitative measures, but unfortunately, he died at 5:03 p.m.
ESSIG: Police have arrested the suspect, a 41-year-old man who did not flee after the shooting. A rare occurrence in Japan. The country with one
of the world's lowest gun rates.
FUMIO KISHIDA, PRIME MINISTER, JAPAN (through translator): He loved this country and constantly looked beyond the current generation working hard
for a brighter future of this country, leaving behind many major successes in various categories.
ESSIG: World leaders also condemned the assassination.
ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: A really deep wound. A loss for his family, a loss for his party(ph), a loss for the people of
Japan, a loss for the world.
ESSIG: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen remembering Abe as a great Democrat. In South Korea, the president said Japan's longest-serving
PM was a respected politician that will stay in Japan's history. Shinzo Abe's assassination now a black dot in that history. A violent act of crime
that is due to send ripples of shock across the country. Blake Essig, CNN, Tokyo.
SOARES: Well, world leaders are expressing their shock at Shinzo Abe's killing. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau worked with Abe during his
tenure. He writes as you can see down in that tweet that he is deeply saddened, the world has lost a great man of vision, and Canada has lost a
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also tweeted his condolences, saying, he says we had the privilege of knowing him for years, and we'll
always remember his collegiality and commitment to multilateralism. Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is in London with more.
And Nic, I think it's important for viewers to understand, you know, he -- you know, politics was running in his blood. So, we know exactly what kind
of man he really is. But he was a towering figure on the world stage. And that's what we've seen so many of these powerful tributes from right around
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, and I think the fact that the politics ran in his blood meant that as a politician, he
really could achieve, and he had a vision to achieve. So when he became prime minister for the second time in 2012, and he only stepped down in
2020 because of illness, he had this vision to make Japan stronger and turn towards the world, integrate more with the world and connect more with the
So in those first two years in office then, he visited almost 50 countries, which is staggering. You know, he was the first world leader to be invited
to India on its republic day. And Narendra Modi, one of the first to sort of reach out with condolences after the shooting of Abe. You know, he
touched a lot of people in Australia, not only Anthony Albanese; the new prime minister there.
But three previous prime ministers have also talked about their connection with him and their sadness about what has happened. He had -- he had an
amazing way of communicating and connecting. I'm thinking here of Trump --
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: And President Trump --
SOARES: That's what I was thinking, because you know, he has -- he's very skillful, kind of navigating and pivoting these different personalities on
the world stage. The even brings to mind, and I didn't know that he was called the Trump whisperer. But he appealed to all these different
personalities which is -- which is a skill in itself.
ROBERTSON: Oh, it's an absolute skill, because it allows you then to have a great connection -- President Trump, perhaps, one of the most mercurial
world leaders --
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: But hugely importantly, and particularly for Abe, who was really strengthening that relationship that relationship with the United
States at that time. You know, when President Trump -- then President Trump visited Tokyo, Abe took him and they played golf, why?
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: Because Trump likes it. What did they eat? No, not sushi, not Japanese street food they could have found in Tokyo, but ate burgers. Why?
Because that's what Trump likes. They switched baseball caps, because that meant something to Trump. He got those personal connections. And I think
that was writ-large across everything that he was doing. Antony Blinken today had a --
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: Very sort of smart comment about -- that you would expect, right?
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: If the United States would have a smart comment --
SOARES: It was a very smart --
ROBERTSON: But he said, Abe had a real vision that sort of elevated Japan on the world stage. That it came into play at exactly the right moment when
the world was looking for strong democracies to sort of balance out against China's growing aggression if you will in the region. There was a great
SOARES: And on that -- on that point and on Antony Blinken's point, I mean, he reached out to Russia and to China, who would have thought at that
time that he was already opening the door for these discussions. OK, some of them did not go according to plan. But that says a lot about his vision.
ROBERTSON: And Emmanuel Macron said that he was a real balance, a balancing force in the world. And there's a photograph, I don't know if we
have it here, at the G7. Everyone remembers Angela -- this is I think, 2018 in Quebec, you know, that so fractious G7 meeting where President Trump
refused to sign a communique at the end, and Angela Merkel is leaning over the desk there, and Trump has got his arms --
SOARES: That body language --
ROBERTSON: Crossed like that. But where's Abe? Abe is in the middle. He's the balance, and he's got his head on one side and listening to Angela
Merkel, he's got his arms folded, a non-verbal signal to Donald Trump, I'm doing what you're doing, that's -- I'm connecting with you as well. This
balance that Macron talked about. So --
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: He was huge -- he made Japan very valuable to the United States and to NATO. I mean, just --
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: Last week, Madrid, Japanese prime minister invited, why? Because for the first time NATO had announced that China was a threat to
security and values of NATO. And Japan helps to be a counter-balance --
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: To that. That's why --
SOARES: He really shifted that --
ROBERTSON: This was -- this was everything that Abe had built a decade ago, the vision.
SOARES: Yes, and the legacies very much still there. A truly towering figure. Nic Robertson, thank you very much. Well, former U.S. ambassador to
Japan, Tom Schieffer is joining me now. And Tom, first of all, my condolences from myself and the team of course, I know that you knew him.
What were your reflections when you heard of this brutal attack?
TOM SCHIEFFER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO JAPAN: I was just shocked as everyone else is. But to have something like this happen in Japan is just -
- is just unprecedented. Abe Sonne(ph) was a person of real deep thought, he was a thoughtful person. He was a kind person too, but he wanted Japan
to play a greater role in the world than just being an economic power.
And he did so much to persuade others that it was time to let Japan play that role in the world. And I think he was the most consequential prime
minister in perhaps in Japanese history, but certainly in recent times. And we're going to miss him. He was a figure on the world stage that we need
more of, not less.
SOARES: And Tom, as you're talking, we're looking at live pictures from the Japanese embassy there in Washington. We can see President Joe Biden
there. You know, you mentioned what the marquee left as a leader. What about as a man? How do you remember him?
SCHIEFFER: He was a person who was serious about what he was doing. And that is not to say that he didn't have a sense of humor. He did.
But I think when he -- I was ambassador when he came to become prime minister. And at that point in time in his life, I think the question had
never been whether he was going to be prime minister, his --
SOARES: Yes --
SCHIEFFER: Grandfather had been prime minister, his father would have been prime minister, but for the fact that he had stomach cancer and died. And
so, he comes up as the young lion, and he is recognized in that role. But he had a difficult time the first time that he was prime minister for a
year or so. And I think that was largely because of his health.
He had to resign as a result of his -- of health reasons. But I think he decided in that period of time before he came to power the second time,
that if he was going to be prime minister again, he wanted to do something and he did. The idea of the Quad --
SOARES: Yes --
SCHIEFFER: And the U.K. and Australia and the United States getting together, that was his idea. And that was in the beginning, and he saw the
strategic advantage of the four great democracies in that part of the world are getting together and sharing an agenda, and it helped. He was very
instrumental in changing the concept of collective self-defense.
As you know, United States is committed to coming to the aid of Japan, but Japan was not committed to coming to the aid of the United States under the
security agreement that we had. But he was -- he led the reinterpretation of the constitution to allow Japan to come to our aid if we in the process
of being an ally in Japan came under attack.
That's a huge thing. And it set in motion a different Japan for us and for the rest of the world. And this is a man who will be missed on the world
stage, as so many of your guests have already said. He was a real player. And people respected it. And he could get along with people regardless of
their ideologies. I mean, when you line up President Bush, President Obama and President --
SOARES: Yes --
SCHIEFFER: Trump, they got a three very different personalities, and yet he had extraordinary relationships with each one of them that were to the
benefit of the United States and to the benefit of Japan.
SOARES: Yes, and Tom, I really want to, you know, we heard what our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson was saying in terms of his
standing, kind of Japan -- how he elevated Japan's standing abroad, but also Secretary Blinken talking about that vision, his vision. And I think
that vision --
SCHIEFFER: Yes --
SOARES: Was probably reflected, Tom, in his foreign policy achievements. Correct?
SCHIEFFER: No question about it. I mean, I think that's where he really had his greatest success. Sometimes Japanese prime ministers, it's almost
like a revolving door, and --
SOARES: Yes --
SCHIEFFER: Where they're changed almost every year or so, he came in and he provided stability. And he provided a long-term vision of where he
wanted Japan to go, and said this is how we get there. And Japan is so difficult in the sense that, it is a consensus society, things have to be
done by consensus. And so they're done often incrementally. And what he set in motion was a momentum that I think will carry through for Japan to play
a greater political role in the world, not just a greater economic role in the world.
SOARES: A huge loss indeed. Tom Schieffer, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us, thanks Tom.
SCHIEFFER: Thank you for having me.
SOARES: I want to bring in CNN's Selina Wang. And Selina, give me a sense of what you're hearing in terms of the investigation, in terms of the
suspect and the motive. What more do we know at this hour?
SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, we learned from the police conference that the suspect admitted, confessed to shooting
former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He is a 41-year-old unemployed man, and In terms of the motive, all the police disclosed was that the suspect said
that he holds a grudge against a specific organization, and believes that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was a part of it.
There are now 90 investigators working on this case. We'll bring you more details as we learn more about them. When he was pronounced dead at 5:00
p.m., however, medical examiners said that it was due to excessive blood loss. This was after he was shot at about 11:30 a.m. local time during this
campaign speech rally. It was in broad daylight, out in the public, out in the open. And this has been sending shock-waves not just in Japan, but
around the world.
And as you've been discussing all hour, I think the theme for Abe was the towering political presence --
SOARES: Yes --
WANG: He was in Japan, around the world, also having a huge impact here in Beijing. He did oversee this frosty relationship between Beijing and Tokyo
that unfortunately did not improve during his time there. And he strengthened the security alliances with the U.S., with the Quad --
SOARES: Yes --
WANG: With other Asia-Pacific allies. A lot of that encounter to Beijing which, of course, did not make Beijing very happy. Isa.
SOARES: And Selina, you know, I know you lived in Japan for some time when you were reporting there for CNN. Do you think that this will prompt some
sort of rethink here of the traditional -- bringing politicians into close contact with voters?
WANG: Yes, it's interesting because this has really reignited that debate --
SOARES: Yes --
WANG: Or sparked that debate, because compared to in the United States, you do see this fairly light security around senior political leaders in
Japan. And experts largely think that after an earth-shattering assassination like this, this will likely mean that in the future, senior
Japanese politicians will travel with more security detail. A feature of Japanese politics is that, these politicians can get close to the public.
And it will be a pity if that type of close interaction is going to be lost. But the important context here is the reason why there was this more
relaxed security environment, is because Japan is considered to be one of the safest countries in the world. When I was living in Japan, it was my
previous posting right before I moved here, I was always struck by how many young children I would see on a daily basis, walking alone at night, taking
subways by themselves, taking taxis by themselves.
Because that is just the kind of environment Japan is. Gun violence is virtually non-existent. Violent crime is extremely rare. In all of 2021,
there was only one gun-related death. Guns are extremely difficult to get, most guns are illegal and any potential gun buyer has to go through a very
lengthy and complex process.
Just to redo a few, they have to pass a test, taking an all-day class, pass a shooting-range test with an accuracy of at least 95 percent, undergo
mental health evaluation, drug test, extensive background tests. And it speaks volumes that --
SOARES: Yes --
WANG: The suspect police say had used a home-made gun, Isa.
SOARES: Selina Wang for us there, thanks very much, Selina, appreciate it. And still to come tonight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits
troops on the frontlines, as he vows to never give up territory for peace with Russia. And why the widespread effect of Russia's brutal war, we'll
see how it's accelerating the threat of famine in the country, thousands of kilometers away. That report just ahead.
SOARES: Ukraine is reporting fierce shelling in the Donbas as Russia fights to capture the eastern region on behalf of pro-Russian separatists.
The Ukrainian military says more than 40 towns and villages have just come under attack in just the last 24 hours, in fact. Russia is now focusing on
Donetsk, after capturing virtually all of neighboring Luhansk province.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tells CNN his country will never give up territory to Russia, in exchange for peace. He visited troops to
the west of Donetsk on Friday. Let's bring in CNN's Scott McLean, he is following all the developments for us tonight from Kyiv. So, Scott, the
Ukrainians I believe have conceded that the Russians have made some gains. But Zelenskyy remains still pretty adamant that he won't cede any
territory. So how is it preparing for the fight ahead, Scott?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's going to be a long one. If you listen to the rhetoric coming out of the leaders, Zelenskyy,
obviously, as you mentioned, saying he's not giving up one square inch of land. And whatever has been occupied already, the Ukrainians plan to get
back. In response to that, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, and I quote, "well, what can I say? Let them try."
Adding that the longer the Ukrainians drag this out, this fight, well, the more difficult the peace process then becomes. The difficulty for the
Ukrainians right now is that it seems like the Russians are inevitably inching their way west, and even when they're running into resistance,
well, they're resorting to a pretty familiar tactic, which is just bombing and shelling everything that they can, on the other side, flattening the
land there so that there's really not a whole lot for the Ukrainians to even cling on to.
There's not even that much that's worth clinging on to by that stage of the game. And that seems to be their Mo in the eastern part of the country.
They are having considerably more success though, holding off the Russians in the northern part of the country, in Kharkiv, where the battle lines
haven't moved all that much. But there's a lot of shelling into the city, also in the southern part of Ukraine, around Mykolaiv. Same thing.
They haven't really been able to move the lines. In fact, the Ukrainians have actually taken back territory in that part of the country. The
President, Zelenskyy, actually visited the southern part of Ukraine, Kryvyi Rih area, an area that today reported some incoming fire, although no
casualties reported. And he was there to meet with the troops, thanked them for their service, also meet with the generals.
Where he was, it was not too far from the Kherson region, which is occupied by the Russians. And that is where the Ukrainians say that they fired on a
warehouse that had ammunition inside of it. Though pro-Russian separatists in that area contradicted that statement by claiming that, that actually
wasn't a warehouse at all.
It was a hydroelectric power plant. And that somehow, it is still operating through all of this. Now, whatever that target actually was, it is very
likely that the Ukrainians used a HIMARS system, the high mobility artillery rocket systems provided by the United States. The Biden
administration just announced four more are on the way to Ukraine now, for a total of 12. And they're also supplying new ammunition that is more
accurate than the previous rounds that they've been given. Isa.
SOARES: And as they acknowledge, Scott, that, you know, they're ceding territory as they acknowledge this, as Zelenskyy acknowledges this. What is
the mood among Ukrainian troops? As obviously, we've been going on for months on end now. What -- do you have a sense of the mood?
MCLEAN: Well, the Ukrainians will tell you they're a heck of a lot more motivated than the Russians, that the Russian troops aren't really sure
what they're fighting for. And they also say that they are taking heavy losses, the Ukrainians say at last word, 37,000 is the estimate of Russian
troops who have been killed, perhaps a 100,000 who have been wounded along the frontlines. Now CNN is not in a position to confirm any of those
But even pro-Russian commentators have suggested that recent battles were far too deadly. And just the other day, I was actually at a rehab center,
outside of Kyiv, Isa, where I was able to speak with some soldiers who had a range of injuries. One soldier that I met with actually lost the lower
half of one of his legs. And yet, every soldier that I met, remarkably, told me that they plan to get well, do their rehab.
In the case of the soldier whose leg was amputated, he planned to get a prosthetic, and then get back on the frontlines --
SOARES: Wow --
MCLEAN: As soon as they could. And so, there's no doubt that the Ukrainians are motivated. The question is -- well, the question at least
that President Zelenskyy asked is, can they get the equipment from the West in time to actually start to turn the tables?
SOARES: Which is what we have heard. We've been asking him, asked really world leaders throughout, that defiance and that strength of character,
very much still present. Scott McLean there for us in Kyiv, Ukraine. Good to see you, Scott, thanks very much.
Well, Russia's war isn't just taking a devastating toll on the people of Ukraine as Scott really just laid out there. It's also impacting countries
thousands of kilometers away, disrupting their access to critical food supplies. Our Clarissa Ward shows us how the war is pushing Somalia closer
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the edge of the Nayine(ph) Camp just outside Somalia's capital, Zanzar
Mohammed(ph) shows us the fresh graves of those who have died here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One, two, three.
WARD: There are 30 she says in total. The victims of this country's record drought. As the camp administrator, Mohammed is tasked with burying the
dead. "From that corner to this one", she says, "this line of graves is all children." It must weigh on your heart to have to bury these little
children. "You feel such sadness when you bury a baby", she tells us. "I'm a mother and I can feel their pain as a parent."
Some 500 yards away, Norta Alajoomi(ph) has yet to visit the graves of her three children. Severely malnourished, they died after contracting measles.
"I cannot bear to go", she says. "The grief I would feel." Aid agencies warn that Somalia is marching towards another famine. Nearly half the
country is hungry, some 800,000 people have been forced from their homes this year alone.
(on camera): So two months ago, this camp didn't even exist. Now, there are more than 870 families living here.
(voice-over): Conditions are dire and the world's attention is elsewhere. Thousands of miles from the frontlines of the war in Ukraine, the impact of
Russia's invasion is being felt here, food and fuel prices have skyrocketed as Russia's blockade of Ukrainian wheat threatens global supplies.
MOHAMUDD MOHAMED HASSAN, DIRECTOR, SAVE THE CHILDREN COUNTRY: The wheat that is consumed in Somalia, 92 percent of it comes from Russia and Ukraine
when you put together. So the price of wheat has doubled. In some areas, you know, 150 percent increase.
WARD (on camera): So you had climate change, COVID, but the war in Ukraine is really threatening to push Somalia over the edge?
HASSAN: Yes, definitely, yes.
WARD: And what about if the war continues in Ukraine? If that blockade remains in place. What impact will that have here?
HASSAN: I cannot imagine what would be the impact.
WARD (voice-over): The stabilization ward at the Banadir Hospital offers a glimpse of what may be to come. There are no empty beds, and many
desperately sick children. Dr. Hafsan Mohamed Hassan(ph) works around the clock to keep her youngest patients alive.
(on camera): How many years have you been working in this hospital?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eight years.
WARD: Eight years?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes --
WARD: Have you ever seen so many children being brought in with malnutrition?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, this is the worst situation I'm seeing. The number of the cases are increasing day by day. The hospital is very
occupied with these cases.
WARD: Are you overwhelmed?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, overwhelmed, the situation is overwhelming.
WARD (voice-over): In one bed, we meet Harada Abdi(ph) and her four-year- old son, Mohammed(ph). "I already lost three children in this drought", she says softly.
(on camera): So you came here to save your son? How do you cope with that kind of loss, to lose three children? How do you get through the day? "I
can't cope with the situation", she says. "I just pray my remaining children will survive".
(voice-over): It's a prayer shared by so many women here, one that the world has yet to hear.
SOARES: Clarissa Ward. And still to come tonight, we'll have much more, of course, on our top story, Shinzo Abe had close-working relationships with
several U.S. Presidents. We'll go to Washington to hear how American leaders are reacting to his death. That's next.
SOARES: Well, the longest serving Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was Japan's leader during several U.S. administrations. He knew the current
U.S. president when Joe Biden served as vice president under Barack Obama. Earlier today, President Biden had this to say really about the shock of
the assassination. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: This hasn't happened in Japan in decades and decades. I'm told we all go way back to the late '30s, mid '30s. And it's a
homemade weapon. I've only seen a photograph of it. The Justice Department is going to be going in to give me more detail later as they find out the
But the fact is that one thing did strike my -- again, my attention, that this is the first use of a weapon to murder someone in Japan. And I think
we have -- thus far have 3,000 -- don't hold me to the number, 688 Or -- I mean, between 3,000 and 4,000 cases. They have one. One. One.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: CNN's MJ Lee is in Washington with more U.S. reaction. And MJ, you know, we've -- as we've been reporting on the show and for the hours here
on CNN, we know the Prime Minister, Abe, was revered for strengthening, of course, U.S.-Japan relations. How is he being remembered there?
MJ LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, I will say the shock that is being felt in Japan is also being felt here on the other side
of the world. As you just saw, President Biden addressed this shocking news in public remarks. He also put out a statement via the White House earlier
today. And in those remarks, he said that he was stunned, and outraged, and deeply saddened by what he called a tragedy for Japan. He also said that
the U.S. stands with Japan, as the Japanese people are grieving and going through the shock after this news.
We also saw a rare thing happen here in Washington where the President's schedule was amended at the last minute so that he could make a stop at the
Japanese ambassador's house to sign a condolence book. And in that message, a picture of that just came in. The President wrote in part "It is not only
a loss to his wife and family, and all of the people of Japan, it is a loss to the world." And he also wrote the words "He will be missed."
We saw him laying a wreath of flowers on the table. We also saw him exchanging remarks with the Japanese ambassador. This is somebody that the
current president, President Biden, has referred to as his friend. He has spoken fondly about times when he was vice president, meeting with this
former Prime Minister, and definitely has talked about him, as you mentioned, as someone who really worked with the U.S. to bolster the U.S.-
And we also, I should note, the President told reporters here earlier in the day that he has also tried to get in touch with the current Japanese
Prime Minister. We don't know if that was successful. It sounded like it hadn't been when he spoke about it some hours ago. But we probably will get
a readout from that phone call whenever that conversation happens. So again, just worth reiterating that if Japan is certainly reeling from the
shock of this news, so are world leaders across the country, including here in the U.S.
SOARES: Yes. And we saw that video of the U.S. President, Joe Biden, at the Japanese embassy in Washington, sitting down and looked like he was signing
a book of condolences from, of course, we can't -- I saw him set it out, but I can't verify the fact that he signed it. But, look, that was
President Joe Biden. Another President that knew him well was the former president, President Trump. And he had -- he's been called the Trump
whisperer, Shinzo Abe, because he -- it was said that he had his it, MJ, and was successful at charming him, even played golf together. What has
been his reaction to the shocking attack?
LEE: Yes, you know, that is such a good reminder that there were very different relationships, of course, that the former Japanese Prime Minister
had with the former U.S. President, Donald Trump. And now, the current U.S. President, Joe Biden, of course, they worked together when the President
was vice president. But, you know, it just goes to show to just the reaction that, again, as I laid out from the current sitting U.S. President
that even though there are different politics that have been at play between the U.S. and Japan, through the different U.S. presidencies that
we've seen, it is still a shock nonetheless. It doesn't matter if there were some differences in sort of the U.S. foreign policy postures. It is a
And, you know, you said that you had seen the pictures come in of the President sitting down and signing a book, we can confirm that that was in
fact, as I said before, the President signing a long condolence note. He took a real time out of his day to make sure that he did that, obviously,
an important sign that the President wanted to send that the U.S. is standing by with the people of Japan in this really shocking moment for the
SOARES: And as you talked there, MJ, we were looking exactly at those very images at President Joe Biden, signing those -- that book of condolences
earlier. MJ Lee, thanks very much, MJ. Appreciate it.
Well, let's turn now to one of Shinzo Abe's legacy, one so central it was actually named after him. Perhaps you remember, I remember from covering
financial news, and that's Abenomics. It guided the world's third biggest economy for almost a decade. The policy was the defining strategy of Shinzo
Abe's tenure as prime minister as Anna Stewart now explains.
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A familiar face on the global stage, Shinzo Abe will perhaps be best remembered for his economic legacy. To jolt
Japan out of decades of economic stagnation, he created an ambitious and unconventional plan, which, like Thatcherism and Reaganomics before him,
bore his name. Abenomics consisted of three arrows. The first was monetary policy with low and even negative interest rates and huge bond buying
schemes. The second, fiscal stimulus, involve big government spending. And the third, structural reforms, making Japan more business friendly and
getting more people into the workforce, particularly women.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHINZO ABE, FORMER JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER: We now have two million more. Repeat, two million more women employed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: Abenomics had success in the early years, drawing a line under years of deflation, but it had shortcomings, particularly when it came to
economic reform for Japan's aging workforce.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All three arrows needed to be fully executed. But when push came to shove, they ran out of courage to execute the third arrow if
that makes sense. And that's why the rest of the pieces never really had the impact they did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: Speaking to The Economist magazine, after he stepped down as Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe was recently asked what his legacy would be. His
reply, Abenomics. Anna Stewart, CNN, London.
SOARES: We move now to the U.S. economy where today's jobs report is providing a glimmer of hope amidst a sea of economic growth.
The U.S. labor market added a greater than expected -- excuse me, 372,000 jobs last month, outpacing analysts' expert predictions, the unemployment
rate held steady at 3.6 percent. And CNN Business Correspondent Rahel Solomon, is joining me now from New York. So, Rahel, this is -- at least it
looks on paper, like a pretty good report. Labor market looks strong. But what does this tell us about inflation and the state of the economy? Just
tear it apart for us.
RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi. So, yes, it's a positive report with an asterisk. So 372,000 jobs, as you pointed out, and the gains
were a broad base. We saw it across industries like professional services, leisure and hospitality, healthcare, all adding more than 50,000 jobs.
The asterisk here is that there is so much demand for workers here in the U.S. There are 1.9 open jobs for every one American worker looking for a
job. And the reason that creates some challenges for the Federal Reserve, as it looks to lower inflation that's running at a 40-year high, is because
when you have demand for workers that hot, companies have to raise wages to try to incentivize people to work for them. And we know those higher labor
costs then tend to trickle down into higher consumer prices. So, it becomes this vicious cycle.
By the way, Isa, for folks who are making more, because we are seeing elevated wage growth, it's moderating a bit but still elevated. For folks
who are making more, it's being eaten up by inflation. So you are making more but you can afford less. It's a vicious cycle.
SOARES: But does it show that perhaps things are looking better, that the path is looking brighter? The economic picture is looking brighter than
what we were talking about, what, say, two, three weeks ago even, Rahel?
SOLOMON: It's an interesting question. I don't know that I would say brighter, I would say the labor market has been, and at least according to
this report, still is very strong. I mean, if we are to see a recession, it's certainly not imminent, not at least according to this report. The
issue with reports like this is that it's a lagging indicator, right? We don't start to see job loss until we've already had economic slowing start
to happen. So, we're not seeing that just yet. The labor market has been hot. And according to this report, it still is hot.
SOARES: How -- very quickly, how is the stock markets reacting to this or the expectation? I mean, is it far better than expected?
SOLOMON: Well, when the numbers crossed, we saw futures dip and they started the day lower.
SOLOMON: You can see now they're pretty much flat so the market's not really reacting. We knew it was a tough job for the Fed to begin with. And
this is just sort of confirming that.
SOARES: Rahel Solomon, great to see you. Thanks, Rahel.
SOLOMON: Yes. Yes.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, resignations, a leadership contest, and a caretaker Prime Minister ahead. We'll bring in the latest drama unfold in
U.K. politics, that is next.
SOARES: Well, here in London, the British public is still reeling from a dramatic day in politics. Boris Johnson's resignation, remember, rocked the
halls of power on Thursday. Now everyone really is asking one question, who will be the next prime minister? Well, former finance minister, Rishi
Sunak, has just entered the race. Remember he resigned on Monday. He's currently one of the favorites to replace Johnson as Conservative Party
Leader, but Johnson could stay on as caretaker Prime Minister until October.
CNN's Nada Bashir joins me now from 10 Downing Street. And Nada, I saw earlier, Rishi Sunak's kind of launch video looked very slick, but it made
him paint a picture of very anti-Boris candidate eye. So they said, putting honesty and seriousness at the heart of his campaign, what do you make of
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Isa, the question of honesty has been a running theme throughout this entire saga we've seen around the
resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and those significant resignations that we saw off his ministers, now Rishi Sunak, as you
mentioned, was expected to launch a leadership bid. He was expected to be a kindlier and key name in this leadership contest. And as you said, they're
very slick campaign video from the former Chancellor.
I can read you just a little bit of the message that he was giving in that video, saying that he has standing to restore trust, rebuild the economy,
and reunite the country. His values are nonnegotiable patriotism, fairness, and hard work. Now, of course, Rishi Sunak has come under fire during his
time as chancellor. Of course, he oversaw what we are seeing now the cost of living crisis, there's also been a pretty fiery controversy around his
own personal wealth and tax situation.
We understand that he, of course, held a Green Card, claimed a domestic residence in the U.S. for tax purposes during a time when he still was
chancellor here in the U.K. So he certainly got a lot to contend with. And of course, there are a number of other names swirling around as potential
leadership competitors, Tom Tugendhat, an MP comparing the sort of dark horse in this race today, writing an op-ed in The Daily Telegraph saying
that #10 needs a cleanup and he believes he is the one to do just that.
But we are certainly keeping an eye on those other key names. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss perhaps might be stepping into the race. Home Secretary
Priti Patel has been rumored, although that hasn't been confirmed yet. And, of course, a number of other ministers. But Rishi Sunak has already
received some endorsements so he's appearing to be a front at this stage.
SOARES: Yes, one MP did say to me that Liz Truss would be throwing a hat in the ring in the coming days, I know people know it. But, Nada, give me a
sense of the mood today, because when I was outside parliament yesterday, there was a real sense within Conservative Party members I was speaking to
of real division, those who wanted Boris Johnson out quicker than, of course, this timeline, we're looking at perhaps until October, others who
were worried, of course, about fast-tracking this whole process.
BASHIR: Yes, we've already seen many complaining today, criticizing the prime minister for seeming to be quite determined to remain in place as the
Conservative Party looks at electing its next leader. And as he said there, it's a process which could take weeks, if not months. We do expect that
influential committee of backbench MPs, the 1922 Committee, to meet next week to elect their new executive. And they'll set out a timeline for that
But there are so many questions on whether or not Prime Minister Boris Johnson can hold on during that contest, or whether or not he will be
forced to appoint a caretaker Prime Minister to oversee the government during that time. For now, though, Boris Johnson does seem to find -- he
does seem to be getting on with the job and his words. We've seen some cabinet. We've seen some further ministerial appointments today. He does
seem to be carrying through. He says he wants to push through with the agenda that he was elected on. But others have called this an unwise
In fact, that was definitely former Prime Minister John Major describing this decision as unsustainable. And a key point to add here, the Labour
Party's deputy leader, Angela Rayner, this morning saying that the Labour Party will push forward for a vote of confidence before the summer
parliamentary recess if Boris Johnson doesn't step down immediately.
SOARES: adding to more pressure more drama. Nada Bashir outside 10 Downing Street. Thanks very much, Nada. Good to see you.
And still to come tonight, as tributes from around the world continue to pour in for slain Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, we take a look back
at his life as well as his legacy. That is next.
SOARES: More tributes to Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continuing to pour in. In nearby Taiwan, they are lighting up the skies, as
you can see that. Taipei 101, one of Taiwan's best known landmarks, is sending out a message of support for the people of Japan. The words you're
seeing her read "In mourning of Prime Minister Abe, friend of Taiwan forever. Thank you, Prime Minister Abe, for your support and friendship to
And now Cnn Correspondent Will Ripley takes a look at the legacy that Shinzo Abi leaves behind.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Japan's longest serving Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, had big dreams of a Japanese comeback. A comeback marred by a
series of setbacks. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Abe's greatest achievement. Japan spent billions only to see the games postponed by the Coronavirus
pandemic. The games were at cornerstone of Abe's plan to revive a struggling economy and transform Japan into a global destination. Abe
promised a brighter future, a future looking bleak after 2011's massive earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear meltdown.
Abenomics was an ambitious plan to overhaul Japan's economy with stimulus and reform. It led to record-high government debt and failed to make a
lasting dent in decades of deflation, problems made worse by Japan's aging population and shrinking workforce. Abe also tried to strengthen Japan's
military, reinterpreting the nation's pacifist Constitution drafted after World War II. The move led to massive protests in the Japanese capitol.
Abe's visits to a controversial war shrine angered his Asian neighbors. He was criticized for not making a new apology at the 70th anniversary of
World War II, accused of trying to rewrite Japan's brutal wartime past. Abe began fighting for more military power during his first time as prime
minister in 2006. At 52, he became Japan's youngest post-war leader. Corruption scandals within his party caused Abe popularity to plummet. He
resigned a year later, blaming health problems.
Abe had ambition and roots in a powerful, political dynasty, two former prime ministers in his family. Reelected in 2012, Abe declared Japan is
He tried to raise Japan's profile on a global stage, developing allies in Europe, India, and Southeast Asia, trying to mend frosty relations with
China. Abe made history in 2016 appearing alongside former U.S. President, Barack Obama, in Hiroshima, and later Pearl Harbor. Abe was one of the
first world leaders to form an alliance with Donald Trump, taking the U.S. President out for a hamburger in Tokyo. Shinzo Abe leaves behind Akie,
known as a vibrant and popular First Lady, and his wife of more than three decades.
SOARES: A truly towering figure, not just at home, but also abroad. That report there from Japan now. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay
right here with CNN for the very latest on the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Paula
Newton is next. Do stay in touch at Isa at CNN. I shall see you next week. Have a wonderful weekend.