UCL News


Death of Shinzo Abe

8 July 2022

It is with great sadness that we hear of the death of former Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. We extend our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to his family and the people of Japan at this difficult time.

Mr Shinzo Abe visits UCL

Mr Abe was in office in 2006-07 and 2012-20 and remains the country's longest-serving PM and best-known political figure internationally. During his premiership, he developed a relationship with UCL based on our strong and impactful ties with Japan – both historically and right up to the present day.

In 2014, we were honoured to receive Mr Abe on campus when he gave the keynote speech at the Japan: UK Conference 'Collaboration in Research and Education' co-hosted by UCL and the Embassy of Japan in the UK. The conference was the first of its kind and was designed to give the leading universities in Japan and the UK the opportunity to showcase their recent efforts in both research and education and discuss future ways to cooperate in these fields.

Following the conference, a joint announcement was issued signalling participating universities' commitment to encouraging mutual exchange between staff and researchers in both countries, the development of new collaborative research links and the creation of joint international curricula.

This relationship deepened when the then UCL President & Provost, Professor Sir Michael Arthur, visited Japan in 2017 and Mr Abe thanked UCL for our role in helping to educate students from his country dating back 150 years to the Choshu Five in the 19th century.

UCL’s President & Provost Dr Michael Spence is writing to the Embassy conveying our sympathies on behalf of the UCL community. 

Dr Michael Spence, UCL President & Provost, said: “UCL has strong and deeply valued historical and ongoing links with Japan, which began nearly 160 years ago when we welcomed the first Japanese students to study abroad, the Choshu Five, who went on to have a radical and transformative effect on their home country. Today we send our deep condolences to the people of Japan on the death of their former Prime Minister Abe, who visited our campus and its monument to the Chosu Five in May 2014.”



  • Mr Shinzo Abe visiting UCL in 2014 where he was pictured next to the Japan monument in the South Cloisters where the names of the Choshu Five are engraved on the granite next to a Japanese waka (poem).