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PM Modi heads to Japan to attend Abe’s funeral, meeting with PM Kishida scheduled

A file image of PM Narendra Modi with the late Japanese PM Shinzo Abe (Image courtesy: PIB)

Hours ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan to attend ex-PM Shinzo Abe’s state funeral, foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said this trip is an opportunity for PM Modi to honour the memory of his dear friend and the champion of the India-Japan ties.

Addressing a special briefing on the Prime Minister’s visit to Japan on Monday, Foreign Secretary said the Prime Minister would 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,” he said. During this visit, Kwatra said Prime Minister will also meet his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida and Abe’s wife.

Representatives from over 100 countries including more than 20 heads of state and heads of government are expected to participate in the state funeral tomorrow, Kwatra said.

“This visit by PM Modi is an opportunity for him to honour the memory of former Abe, who he considered a dear friend and a great champion of the India-Japan relationship,” he said.

The foreign secretary said Abe made significant contributions to deepening India-Japan relations, turning a primarily economic relationship into a broad, comprehensive, and strategic partnership, making it pivotal for the two countries and the region’s security.

“His famous “Confluence of Two Seas” speech in the Indian Parliament in 2007 laid the ground for the emergence of the Indo-Pacific region as a contemporary political, strategic, and economic reality. Abe’s contribution to India-Japan relations was recognized by the conferment upon him of the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2021,” Kwatra said.

This visit of PM Modi to Japan comes after Kishida’s visit to India for the India-Japan Summit meeting in March, and PM Modi’s visit to Japan for the Quad Leaders’ Summit in May this year.

These meetings underscored the two leaders’ commitment towards deepening India-Japan ties, particularly in shaping a post-pandemic regional and global order. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the India-Japan diplomatic relationship.

Kwatra said today, Japan is one of the most trusted and valued strategic partners of India.

“The two sides are committed to strengthening bilateral partnership on key areas of Trade & Investment, Defence and Security, Climate Change, Health Security, Infrastructure, Digital, Industrial Development, Energy, Critical and Emerging Technologies, and Human Resources, among others,” the foreign secretary said.

“There is deep convergence in our visions of the Indo-Pacific region and there is close cooperation between our countries on issues of international importance,” Expanding on PM Modi’s talks with Kishida, Kwatra said: “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.”

Japan has imposed tight security measures in the capital city Tokyo as it prepares to host foreign dignitaries for the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which will be attended by several foreign dignitaries including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The state-funded event on Tuesday has encountered growing criticism as it is expected to cost more than USD 11 million, with a large portion attributed to security costs, Japan’s Kyodo news reported. Top-level security measures will be deployed, equivalent to those adopted during the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the police presence exceeding 18,000 personnel.

According to Kyodo, 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.

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