India announces day of mourning for former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe
Abe, 67, died in hospital almost five-and-a-half hours after he was shot while making an election campaign speech in Nara city
India on Friday announced one-day national mourning over the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing him as a global statesman who made an immense contribution to elevating bilateral relations.
Abe, 67, died in hospital almost five-and-a-half hours after he was shot while making an election campaign speech in Nara city. Police arrested Tetsuya Yamagami, a former member of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force, who shot the former premier.
“I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe. He was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place,” Modi said in a set of tweets.
“As a mark of our deepest respect for former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, a one day national mourning shall be observed on 9 July 2022,” he said.
Abe made “an immense contribution to elevating India-Japan relations to the level of a Special Strategic and Global Partnership”, and the whole of India “mourns with Japan and we stand in solidarity with our Japanese brothers and sisters in this difficult moment”, he added.
Modi recalled that he had the opportunity to meet Abe and discuss many issues during a recent visit to Japan to attend a summit meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad.
“He was witty and insightful as always. Little did I know that this would be our last meeting. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the Japanese people,” he said.
Modi said his association with Abe went back many years. “I had got to know him during my tenure as Gujarat CM and our friendship continued after I became PM. His sharp insights on economy and global affairs always made a deep impression on me,” he said.
When Modi visited Japan in October 2018 for the annual summit of the leaders of the two countries, Abe hosted Modi for a private dinner at his holiday home in picturesque Yamanashi prefecture as a special gesture.
Soon after reports emerged of the attack on Abe emerged, external affairs minister S Jaishankar, currently in Indonesia to attend a meeting of G20 foreign ministers, said he was deeply shocked by the news.
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