New Delhi [India], September 26 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday emplaned for Japan to attend the state funeral of his "dear friend" and former PM Shinzo Abe, which will be held on Tuesday.
"PM @narendramodi emplanes for Tokyo to attend the State Funeral of former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe. India had announced one-day national mourning on 09 July 2022 as a mark of respect to former PM Abe. The visit will be an opportunity to honour his memory," tweeted the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi.
Hours before departing, PM Modi tweeted that he would be travelling 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.""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," he said.
In a special media briefing today, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that during this visit the prime minister will attend the state funeral ceremony at Budokan, which would be followed by a greeting occasion at the Akasaka palace in Tokyo. The total duration of PM Modi's visit to Japan is between 12-16 hours.
He will also meet Prime Minister Kishida and Mrs Abe, during this visit. Besides having a greeting occasion with PM Kishida to convey his condolences in person, PM Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with his Japanese counterpart.
"Naturally the relevant people involved from the two sides will be available and participating in these discussions. The discussions will take account and will take a very quick overview and assessment of the overall relationship, its current status, its trajectory, its progress, and the measures that they both need to take, to progress it further," Kwatra said.
"The meeting between the two Prime Ministers will reaffirm their continuing commitment and the strong efforts that stakeholders on both sides continue to make, to promote and progress this relationship," he added.
The State funeral of Abe will take place on Tuesday, and will be attended by thousands of dignitaries worldwide.
Representatives from over a hundred countries, including more than 20 Heads of State and Heads of Government are expected to participate in the state funeral tomorrow.
This visit by Prime Minister Modi will be an opportunity for him to honour the memory of former Prime Minister Abe, who he considered a dear friend and a great champion of India-Japan relationship.
Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Abe had developed a personal bond of trust and friendship through their numerous meetings and interactions spanning over a decade beginning from Prime Minister Modi's visit to Japan in 2007 as the then Chief Minister of Gujarat.
The two leaders made enormous contributions and were singularly responsible for elevating India-Japan relations to the status of Special Strategic and Global Partnership in 2014.
Prime Minister Abe made significant contributions to deepening India-Japan relations, turning largely economic relationship into a broad, Comprehensive and Strategic Partnership, making it pivotal for the security of both our countries and also for regions security.
Prime Minister Abe's 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. Prime Minister Abe's contribution to India-Japan relations was recognized by the conferment upon him of the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2021.
Shinzo Abe was assassinated on July 8 in the city of Nara during a campaign speech. India had announced one-day national mourning on 09 July 2022 as a mark of respect for Abe Shinzo.
Speaking about the deep respect ex-PM Abe had in India, Kwatra said, "We had declared a day of national mourning when former PM Abe departed this world. PM Modi holds former PM Abe a very dear friend, had also conveyed his sincerest condolences at that time."(ANI)