Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday paid his respects to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the state funeral at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. “A tribute to a great visionary and to his immense contribution in the elevation of the India-Japan partnership,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
Abe’s state funeral commenced earlier today in the Japanese capital with the attendance of several world leaders. With tight security in place, a car carrying Abe’s cremated remains arrived at the venue from his family home, for the first-of-its-kind ceremony for a former premier in decades, Japan’s Kyodo News agency reported.
There is controversy in Japan over the funeral, which is set to cost the taxpayer more than USD 11 million, the report said. Today Abe’s widow Akie carried his ashes into the Nippon Budokan Hall in the Japanese capital city where thousands of mourners gathered.
Japan had imposed tight security measures in Tokyo as representatives from hundreds of countries, including dozens of heads of state and heads of government participated in the state funeral. Abe was shot despite the presence of police while he was giving a public address on July 8 in the city of Nara during a campaign speech.
Abe’s funeral is the second state funeral for a former prime minister since World War 2. The first one was held in 1967 for Shigeru Yoshida. Other deceased prime ministers received a joint Cabinet Office and Liberal Democratic Party service. The state funeral ceremony is the first major public event since new police security guidelines were implemented, including sniffer dogs at train stations and police patrols at Tokyo-area airports after Abe’s assassination.
Prime Minister Modi met his Japanese counterpart PM Fumio Kishida prior to the state funeral for Abe whom he described as the champion of India-Japan ties and his dear friend. The Prime Minister conveyed his deepest condolences on the demise of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Prime Minister Modi noted the contributions of the late Japanese PM in strengthening the India-Japan partnership and conceptualizing the vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. “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 Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
Both leaders renewed their commitment towards further strengthening the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership, and working together in the region and other international groupings.