To attend the state funeral of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who transformed Japan’s foreign policy and articulated a bold vision for a quantum leap in its relations with India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled for Tokyo on Monday evening.
More than 20 heads of state and government, along with representatives from more than 100 other nations, are anticipated to attend Abe’s burial on Tuesday at the Budokan, a venue for indoor athletic events.
Additionally, Prime Minister Modi will meet privately with Fumio Kishida of Japan.
In the southern Japanese city of Nara, Abe was assassinated three months ago while giving a campaign address.
In honor of Abe, India declared a national mourning day for July 9.
Prime Minister Modi tweeted hours before flying to Tokyo, “I am heading to Tokyo tonight to participate in the State Funeral of former PM Shinzo Abe, a good friend and a great advocate of the India-Japan relationship.”
“On behalf of all Indians, I shall send Prime Minister Kishida and Mrs. Abe our deepest sympathies. As envisioned by Abe San, we will continue to seek to solidify India-Japan relations further. @kishida230, “added he.
In addition to the meeting, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Abe’s wife Akie, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, announced that Modi would attend the state burial service at Budokan and then a gathering at Akasaka Palace.
He added that Prime Minister Modi would use the trip to pay tribute to former Prime Minister Abe, whom he regarded as a close friend and a strong supporter of India-Japan relations.
Abe focused on his ambitious plan for India-Japan strategic ties to confront geopolitical problems jointly and for the broader growth of Asia in a historic speech to the Indian Parliament in August 2007.
He said that the India-Japan relationship has the most significant potential for the growth of bilateral ties anywhere in the world in his “Confluence of Two Seas” speech to Indian MPs.
According to Kwatra, Modi and Abe became close through their contacts and meetings over a decade ago, starting with Modi’s trip to Japan in 2007.
According to Mr. Kwatra, “PM Abe made important contributions to developing India-Japan ties, changing a primarily economic connection into a wide, comprehensive, and strategic alliance, making it vital for the security of the two nations and the region.”
He said that in 2007, during his well-known “Confluence of Two Seas” address in the Indian Parliament, “the Indo-Pacific area emerged as a modern political, strategic, and economic reality.”
The foreign secretary said that when India gave Abe the coveted Padma Vibhushan award in 2021, it recognized his contributions to India-Japan ties.
According to Mr. Kwatra, Modi’s visit would last between 12 and 16 hours, beginning at the time of his departure from Delhi.
While Modi traveled to Japan for the Quad Leaders’ Meeting in May, Kishida visited India for the annual summit in March.
These discussions highlighted the two presidents’ dedication to strengthening India-Japan relations, Mr. Kwatra added, especially in establishing a post-pandemic regional and international order.
“Japan is one of India’s most cherished and trusted strategic allies. The two parties are committed to advancing their bilateral cooperation in several crucial areas, including trade and investment, defense and security, climate change, health security, infrastructure, digital technology, industrial development, energy, critical and emerging technologies, and human resources, among others, “he said.
According to Mr. Kwatra, the Indo-Pacific area converges significantly between India and Japan.
He added that the impending visit would provide Prime Ministers Modi and Kishida the chance to meet bilaterally and reiterate their commitment to furthering the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.