Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Tokyo on Monday evening to attend the state funeral of Japan’s former PM Shinzo Abe, who reshaped Japan’s foreign policy including setting out a bold vision for a quantum leap in its ties with India. He had described Abe as “a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator”. ‘I have lost a dear friend.’ PM had tweeted, when Abe was killed.
Abe, longest serving Prime Minister of Japan was assassinated on July 8 while campaigning for the election and is being given a state funeral at Tokyo’s massive Nippon Budokan indoor arena on Tuesday. India had announced a one-day national mourning on July 9 as a mark of respect for Abe who played an important role in enchaining India and Japan relations.
P.M Modi remembered his first meeting with late Japan PM, “I first met him in 2007, during my visit to Japan as the chief minister of Gujarat. Right from that first meeting, our friendship went beyond the trappings of office and the shackles of official protocol.” Later recalling his last meeting with Abe, PM Modi wrote, “He had innovative ideas on how to further strengthen the India-Japan friendship. When I said goodbye to him that day, little did I imagine that it would be our final meeting. I will always be indebted to him for his warmth and wisdom, grace and generosity, friendship and guidance, and I will miss him dearly.”