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Business News/ News / World/  PM Modi leaves for Japan to attend Abe's funeral: Look back at their friendship

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present in Japan to attend the state funeral of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. 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. India had declared a day of state mourning to pay tribute to Abe, who played an important role in enchaining India and Japan relations.

In an opinion article written for Hindustan Times, 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."

India and Japan global partnership

Abe Shinzo and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met in Tokyo in 2006 which had set the stage for a deeper Japan-India relationship and announced an “India Japan Strategic and Global Partnership".

In 2014, Abe and Modi upgraded the partnership to a "special and strategic partnership," which effectively expanded the relationship to encompass diplomatic, military, and economic sectors.

In his first term as PM, Modi had deployed a single points person in the PMO for facilitating Japanese investment.

Abe's visits to India

Japan's PM Shinzo Abe was also invited to be the chief guest at the 65 Republic Day Parade in 2014. During that visit, India extended an invitation to Japan to participate in the India-US naval exercise. Nearly eight agreements were signed during that visit, in areas of power, telecom, energy and others.

In 2015, Abe visited PM Modi's parliamentary constituency Varanasi for the Ganga Arti.

In 2017, he visited Gujarat where he laid the foundation of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. This project is a joint venture between Indian railways and Japan's Shinkansen Technology.

The rail link will be just over 500 kms, to be covered in around two hours.

Shinzo Abe also coined the phrase "Jai Japan, Jai India" while launching the project. For this project, Japan has funded a loan of 88,000 cr at low interest.

Economic cooperation

India-Japan economic cooperation also grew steadily under Abe. Direct investments grew from 223 billion Yen in 2012 to 624 billion Yen in 2019, loans stood at 356.30 bn Yen, grants 5.02 bn Yean.

Quad cooperation

Shinzo Abe is credited for the revival of the Quad. Quad, compromising of India, Japan, US and Australia, formed in 2007.

Quad emphasises on the vision of open and free trade in Indo-Pacific region.

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Updated: 26 Sep 2022, 09:51 PM IST
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