NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday offered floral tributes in Tokyo at the state funeral of former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated while making a campaign speech on July 8 in the southern Japanese city of Nara.
Earlier in the morning, Modi met Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ahead of the state funeral, during which both leaders "had a productive exchange of views on further deepening bilateral relations, discussed a number of regional and global issues and renewed their commitment towards further strengthening the India-Japan special strategic and global partnership."
The Prime Minister also held talks with Australian PM Anthony Albanese in Tokyo.
Modi, who joined global leaders from over 100 countries, including more than 20 heads of state and government, conveyed his deepest condolences over the tragic demise of Abe. The PM lauded the late former Japanese PM’s contributions in strengthening the bilateral strategic partnership as well as in conceptualising the vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
Following the state funeral, Modi had a private meeting with the wife of Abe, Akie Abe, at the Akasaka Palace and offered his condolences.
During his bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan, according to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) statement, "The Prime Minister conveyed his deepest condolences for the demise of Mr Abe. The Prime Minister noted the contributions of the late Prime Minister in strengthening the India-Japan partnership as well as in conceptualising the vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region."
The MEA added, "The two leaders had a productive exchange of views on further deepening bilateral relations. They also discussed a number of regional and global issues. The leaders renewed their commitment towards further strengthening the India-Japan special strategic and global partnership and in working together in the region and in various international groupings and institutions."
Speaking with Kishida, Modi added, "But I am confident that under your leadership, India-Japan relations will deepen further and scale to greater heights. And I firmly believe that we will be able to play an appropriate role in finding solutions to the problems of the world."
During the bilateral meeting, the Japanese Prime Minister on Tuesday expressed his intention to continue working with Modi to realise a "free and open Indo-Pacific," building on the diplomatic legacies of Mr Abe, amid China flexing muscles in the strategic region.
Kishida stated that the period from this year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-India diplomatic relations, to next year, when Japan and India will respectively assume the G-7 and G-20 presidencies, offers an excellent opportunity to further strengthen the "Japan-India special strategic and global partnership."
The Prime Minister also held productive talks with Albanese in Tokyo, during which the two leaders discussed the important bilateral ties and ways to boost the India-Australia partnership in diverse sectors.
"Met with @narendramodi in Tokyo and discussed the important relationship and friendship between Australia and India," Mr Albanese tweeted after the meeting.
Responding to the tweet, Modi wrote, "Had productive talks with PM Anthony Albanese in Tokyo. We will keep working closely to boost the India-Australia friendship in diverse sectors."
The two leaders in May held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Quad leaders' summit in Tokyo.