Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled his close friendship with former Japan Prime Minister, Mr Shinzo Abe, and expressed his heartfelt grief over his tragic demise today.
Paying rich tributes to Mr Abe, the Prime Minister said, “Today is a day of irreparable loss and unbearable pain for me.”
Calling Mr Abe a reliable friend of India, the Prime Minister underlined the growth of India-Japan relations based on the shared heritage of the two countries during the tenure of Mr Shinzo Abe.
“Through the projects that are being undertaken with the help of Japan, Mr Abe will remain in the hearts of Indians for years to come, “ PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister was addressing the gathering on the first ‘Arun Jaitley Memorial Lecture’ with Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister of Singapore, also attending the event today at New Delhi.
Prime Minister Modi also recalled his close personal friendship and the sterling qualities of Mr Abe in his blog:
"Every meeting with Abe San was intellectually stimulating. He was always full of new ideas and invaluable insights on governance, economy, culture, foreign policy, and various other subjects."
Shinzo Abe – an outstanding leader of Japan, a towering global statesman, and a great champion of India-Japan friendship – is not among us anymore. Japan and the world have lost a great visionary. And, I have lost a dear friend.
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.
Our visit to Toji temple in Kyoto, our train journey on the Shinkansen, our visit to the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, the Ganga Aarati in Kashi, the elaborate tea ceremony in Tokyo, the list of our memorable interactions is indeed long.
And, I will always cherish the singular honour of having been invited to his family home in Yamanashi prefecture, nestled among the foothills of Mt. Fuji.
Even when he was not the Prime Minister of Japan between 2007 and 2012, and more recently after 2020, our personal bond remained as strong as ever.