New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that he will leave tonight to attend the state funeral of former prime minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.
The funeral will take place on Tuesday. Taking to Twitter, PM Modi wrote, “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.”
“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,” PM added.
Earlier in the day, Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said this trip is an opportunity for PM Modi to honour the memory of his dear friend and a champion of India-Japan ties.
According to Foreign Secretary Kwatra, the total duration of PM Modi’s visit to Japan is between 12-16 hours. During the visit, he will attend the state funeral ceremony at Budokan, followed by a greeting occasion at Akasaka Palace.
“Prime Minister be leaving in a few hours for Japan to attend the state funeral of Abe. During this visit, the PM will attend the state funeral ceremony at Budokan,” Kwatra said, while addressing a special briefing on Prime Minister’s visit to Japan.
Kwatra also said that PM Modi will have a greeting occasion with Japan PM Kishida to convey his condolences in person, but in addition to that PM Modi will also have a brief bilateral meeting with PM Kishida.
“Naturally, the relevant people involved from the two sides will be available and participate in these discussions. It will take into account, a quick overview analysis of the overall relationship, its current status, its trajectory, its progress and the measures that both nations take it further.
It will reaffirm our continued commitment and strong efforts that stakeholders on both sides continue to make – to promote and progress this relationship,” added Kwatra.
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.”
PM Modi and PM 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 Special Strategic and Global Partnership status in 2014.
“During this visit, PM Modi will have the opportunity to participate with representatives of 100 other countries, as I said, along with 20 Heads of States and Governments to participate in the state funeral. Also, along with that, PM Modi will have the opportunity to meet PM Kishida and Mrs Abe to convey his condolences in person to the country, to the leadership and Mrs Abe,” he added.
Meanwhile, Japan has imposed tight security measures in the capital city Tokyo as the state funeral of Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated on July 8 in the city of Nara during a campaign speech, will take place on September 27. Thousands of people are expected to attend the funeral.
Representatives from hundreds of countries and international organizations are expected to participate in the state funeral on Tuesday at the Nippon Budokan in central Tokyo, Japan Times reported.
According to Japan’s Kyodo News, Police are taking extra precautions to ensure there is no gap in security given that Abe was shot down despite the presence of police while he was giving a public address.