New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Japan on September 27 to attend the state funeral of former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, news agency PTI reported. The ceremony will be held at the Nippon Budokan arena in the Kitanomaru National Garden in Tokyo.
PM Modi will also separately meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during the visit.
Shinzo Abe died on July 8 after he was shot during a campaign speech in Nara City, western Japan. He was rushed to the hospital but succumbed later.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had paid a heartfelt tribute to his “dear friend” Shinzo Abe. Reacting to Abe’s death, PM Modi in a blog “My Friend, Abe San” said, “In the passing away of Abe, Japan and the world have lost a great visionary. And, I have lost a dear friend,”.
He referred to him as “San”, which means “Dear”, and said that he met Abe in 2007. “I first met Abe San in 2007 and since then, we have had so many memorable interactions. I will cherish each of them. Abe San energised the India-Japan relationship. He ensured that Japan is there side by side as New India accelerates its growth,” wrote PM Modi in his blog.
Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat when he first met Abe. “Right from that first meeting, our friendship went beyond the trappings of office and the shackles of the official protocol,” said PM Modi.
PM Modi also shared incidents of his bonhomie with Abe during his visit to Toji temple in Kyoto, train journey on the Shinkansen, visit to the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, elaborate tea ceremony in Tokyo. PM Modi said the list of “our memorable interactions is indeed long”.
The Prime Minister also cherished the honour of having been invited to Abe’s family home in Yamanashi prefecture, nestled among the foothills of Mt Fuji. Japan is one of India’s key partners and both the countries are part of QUAD alongside the United States and Australia.
(With inputs from agencies)