Kohn-nee-chee-wah. That’s Japanese for hello. But in Japan, Narendra Modi is posting whole tweets in Japanese to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with whom he shares a rare affinity.
Abe follows only four people on Twitter. Among them are Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh. The other two people he follows are his wife Akie and a friend.
Immediately upon landing, Modi posted a Japanese tweet and the two leaders have displayed a rare ‘tweetomance’ since. In over a dozen tweets, Modi has said he was thrilled to visit Japan again and that Abe was a friend and Japan and India shared great ties.
“Friends from Japan asked me to talk to the people of Japan directly in Japanese. I also thank them for helping with the translation,” Modi said in a tweet, which Abe immediately retweeted.
In subsequent posts in Japanese, Modi said he “deeply respected” Abe, praised Japanese technology and spoke excitedly about India-Japan relations.
Abe’s tweets about Modi are equally syrupy. In a post, the Japanese PM says he feels a “deep connection” with Modi.
The two leaders share a similar political background — both are staunch nationalists, both talk of national pride and have promised to make their countries economic powerhouses.
The leaders developed a mutual liking for one another since the Modi’s first visit to Japan in 2007.
Modi and Abe greeted each other with a bear hug when they met on Saturday for an informal dinner in Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto.