Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday conveyed his “deepest condolences” on the death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and pledged to work with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida to find solutions to global problems.
The two leaders held a bilateral meeting on Tuesday morning, ahead of Abe’s state funeral. Modi is one of 20 heads of state and government who visited Japan to attend the funeral.
While conveying his condolences, Modi highlighted Abe’s contributions in “strengthening the partnership between India and Japan, as well as conceptualizing the vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region,” the Foreign Ministry said. Foreign in a statement.
“We gather today in this hour of sorrow. After coming to Japan today, I feel more sad because the last time I was here, I had a very long talk with Abe San. I never thought that after I left I would have to hear such news,” Modi said in his opening speech at the meeting, speaking in Hindi.
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“I am confident that under his leadership, India-Japan relations will deepen and reach greater heights. I firmly believe that we will be able to play a proper role in solving the world’s problems,” he told Kishida.
Modi said that Abe and Kishida, in their former post as foreign minister, had taken India-Japan ties to new heights and expanded them in many areas. “Our friendship and the friendship of India and Japan played a very important role in creating a global impact,” he said. The people of India remember and miss Abe, he added.
Modi and Kishida had a “productive exchange of views on deepening bilateral relations” and discussed various regional and global issues, the statement said.
The leaders renewed their commitment to further strengthen the India-Japan special global and strategic partnership, and to work together in the region and in various international groups and institutions.
Kishida expressed his intention to continue working with Modi to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific that builds on Abe’s diplomatic legacies, according to a Japanese Foreign Ministry reading.
“The leaders exchanged views on the regional situation, including the situation in Ukraine. They reaffirmed their shared recognition of the importance of peaceful dispute resolution, as well as transparent and comparable development financing, and confirmed that they continue to work together in view of the respective presidencies of Japan and India of the G7 and G20 next year,” said the reading.
Kishida also said that the period from this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations, to 2023, when Japan and India will lead the G7 and G20, offers an “excellent opportunity” to further strengthen the Japan-India partnership.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was assassinated during an election campaign meeting on July 8. India had announced a national day of mourning on July 9 as a show of respect for Abe.
In addition to attending Abe’s state funeral at the Budokan, a famous indoor arena originally built for the 1964 Olympics, Modi took part in a salute at Akasaka Palace, where Kishida and Akie Abe, the former prime minister’s widow, They were present.
Abe and Modi elevated bilateral relations to the status of a special global and strategic partnership in 2014. Abe’s speech on the “Confluence of Two Seas” at a joint session of the Indian Parliament in 2007 laid the foundation for the emergence of the Indo-Pacific region. as a contemporary political, strategic and economic reality, and his contributions to bilateral ties were recognized when India awarded him the Padma Vibhushan in 2021.