The former Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe’s assassination at a public event on Friday has left world leaders across the globe stunned and his own premier Fumio Kishida “at at a loss of words”. Abe’s tragic death nevertheless, was a huge loss to India with the country’s Prime Secretary Narendra Modi summing it up in several tweets. Modi described Japan’s longest-running pm in the history of Japan as “one of his most dear friends”. India has declared an official day of mourning on July 9 in a gesture of respect to Abe who was instrumental in enhancing the relationship between Japan and India during his two years as Japan the premier from 2006-2007 and 2012-2020.
Abe was an excellent friend of India according to experts on foreign policy and one who put in an intense effort to improve strategic relations between the two nations and among the very first leaders to consider India as an important democratic Asian power, able to fight China’s increasing threat. Abe is also credited with instigating the quadrilateral dialogue or the Quad as it’s known today, and recognizing the potential in the great democracies across and in the Indo-Pacific (from US to Japan and then Australia in Australia and India) to counter China’s growing influence throughout the Pacific region. Agneepath Scheme – Army Empowerment Programme
One of the most influential leaders of Japan in its postwar history, Abe was deeply invested in developing a strong partnership with India. Since his first trip to India between 2006 and 2007 and subsequent visits during 2014, 2015, and 2017 There is no one else Japanese premier has had as many visits to India. Inviting Manmohan Singh at the time, He was the very first Japanese dignitary to participate in the Indian Republic Day parade as chief guest in 2014. In the past the event was thought to be the pinnacle of the India-Japan relations that had existed since the year 2000 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was PM.
In announcing India’s close ties to Japan for decades, and his personal relationship with Abe PM Modi stated that the fierce nationalist leader had made an “deep impression” on his.
Who is the former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
- The longest-serving Prime Minister of Japan: Shinzo Abe was first elected PM of Japan in the year 2006, but was forced to quit within a year, citing health issues. Then, in 2012, Abe re-emerged as was elected as the Prime Minister and was in office for eight years which makes him the longest-serving Prime Minister of Japan.
- Japanese PM born following World War II : Abe was born on the 21st September 1954 in Tokyo. Since World War II ended in September 1945, he is an original Japanese PM to be born after the war had ended.
- Family with a political background: Shinzo Abe comes from a family that is political. The maternal grandparents of his grandfather Nobusuke Kishi, served as the Premier of Japan from 1957 until 1960. The paternal grandfather of his, Kan Abe, served in the House of Representatives from 1937 until 1946. Shinzo Abe’s father Shintaro Abe, was the foreign minister between 1982 and 1986.
- Padma Vibhushan: India gave Padma Vibhushan, the country’s highest civilian award, second only to Shinzo Abe for his extraordinary contributions to the area of Public Affairs.
- Relations between Japan and Indos under his leadership relations with India and Japan were forged. Additionally, he became one of the very first Japanese PM to serve as the principal guest at the India’s Republic Day parade in 2014.
- Revisions to Article 9 The event was an important moment in the history of Japan when the Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution was revised. The article states that ‘Japanese people will never again renounce the war as a sovereign right for the country.’
- Resignation 2: Abe resigned for the second time in August of 2020 and again for health reasons. Yoshihide Suga was the new leader until the general elections of October 2021. Fumio Kishida was appointed as the new Premier.
The Modi-Abe relationship
Shinzo Abe, for his own part has been outspoken about his close connection to India along with PM Modi. Actually, Abe was so “passionate about enhancing the ties between Japan and India, Abe had just assumed the role as the chairman of the Japan-India Association”, PM Modi posted in a tweet, sharing a photo from his “most recent visit together with my dear friend Shinzo Abe”.
“I will be a good friend of India throughout my existence,” Shinzo Abe had famously declared when he called Prime Minister Modi his “most trustworthy friend”. When Modi was visiting Japan following his election as the first Prime Secretary in India at the time of 2014 Abe did not follow protocol in order to meet PM Modi in Kyoto. A mere four years later at a summit lasting two days, Abe received the PM Modi at his residence in Japan.