Pacific leaders pay tribute to ex-Japanese PM

Pacific leaders are expressing their condolences to Japan in the wake of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's assassination.

Tonga's Prime Minister Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni issued a statement on Tuesday morning praising Mr Abe as a rare leader who took personal interest in strengthening relations between the countries.

Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama called Mr Abe a true friend to Fiji and a model for every leader.

Papua New Guinea's caretaker Prime Minister James Marape credited him for initiating numerous development projects in PNG.

And New Zealand's PM Jacinda Ardern described Mr Abe as a kind man who helped usher through many complex negotiations.

A private funeral for Mr Abe will take place later today.