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Saturday, April 1, 2023

PM to attend state funeral of fmr Japan PM Shinzo Abe


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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be leaving for Tokyo early on Tuesday to attend the state funeral of former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.

“I am traveling to Tokyo tonight to participate in the State Funeral of former PM Shinzo Abe, a dear friend and a great champion of India-Japan friendship,” the Prime Minister said in a tweet.

“I will be conveying heartfelt condolences to Prime Minister Kishida and Mrs Abe on behalf of all Indians. We will continue working to further strengthen India-Japan relations as envisioned by Abe San,” the Prime Minister added in thread.

The Prime Minister will attend the State Funeral ceremony at Budokan, followed by a greeting occasion at Akasaka Palace.

Representatives from over 100 countries, including more than 20 Heads of State or Heads of Government are expected to participate in the State Funeral.

India had announced one-day national mourning on July 9 as a mark of respect for Abe Shinzo.

The visit will be an opportunity for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to honor the memory of former PM Abe, who he considered a dear friend and a great champion of India-Japan ties.

Addressing a special briefing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said Modi and Abe developed a personal bond through their meetings and interactions spanning over a decade, beginning from PM Modi’s visit to Japan in 2007 as Chief Minister of Gujarat.

The two leaders elevated India-Japan relations to the status of Special Strategic and Global Partnership in 2014, he said.

“PM Abe made significant contributions to deepening India-Japan relations, turning a largely economic relationship into a broad, comprehensive, and strategic partnership, making it pivotal for the two countries’ and region’s security. His famous Confluence of Two Seas speech in the Indian Parliament in 2007 laid the ground for the emergence of Indo-Pacific region as a contemporary political, strategic, and economic reality,” Kwatra said.

PM Abe’s contribution to India-Japan relations was recognised by the conferment upon him of the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2021, he added.

This visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan comes after PM Kishida’s visit to India for India-Japan Summit meeting in March, and Modi’s visit to Japan for the Quad Leaders’ Summit in May this year. Both leaders also held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of Quad Leaders’ Summit.

These meetings underscored the two leaders’ commitment towards deepening India-Japan ties, particularly in the context of shaping a post-pandemic regional and global order, Kwatra said.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of India-Japan diplomatic relationship. Japan is one of the most trusted and valued strategic partners of India.

“The two sides are committed to strengthening bilateral partnership on key areas of Trade and Investment, Defence and Security, Climate Change, Health Security, Infrastructure, Digital, Industrial Development, Energy, Critical and Emerging Technologies, and Human Resources, among others,” the Foreign Secretary said.

There is deep convergence in our visions of Indo-Pacific region and there is close cooperation between our countries on issues of international importance, he added.

The bilateral meeting between Modi and Kishida during the upcoming visit will be an opportunity for the two leaders to reaffirm their commitment to further strengthening of India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership, Kwatra concluded.

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