He was ahead of his times, PM Modi wrote after the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

The world had lost a great visionary and he, a dear friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated during a campaign meeting in Nara, Japan, on Friday.

"In the passing away of Mr. Abe, Japan and the world have lost a great visionary. And, I have lost a dear friend.

A tribute to my friend Abe San...," he wrote on Twitter, sharing the link to a tribute to the former Japanese Prime Minister.

"I first met Abe San in 2007 and since then, we have had so many memorable interactions. I will cherish each of them. Abe San energised the India-Japan relationship. He ensured that Japan is there side by side as New India accelerates its growth," he wrote.

"As far as global leadership is concerned, Abe San was ahead of his times. The Quad, the ASEAN-led forums, the Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative, the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure all benefited from his contributions," PM Modi further tweeted.

In his tribute, Prime Minister Modi pointed out that their friendship "went beyond the trappings of office and the shackles of protocol".

Here are a few points PM Modi highlighted in his tribute:

"Our visit to Toji temple in Kyoto, our train journey on the Shinkansen, our visit to the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, the Ganga Aarati in Kashi, the elaborate tea ceremony in Tokyo, the list of our memorable interactions is indeed long.

And, I will always cherish the singular honour of having been invited to his family home in Yamanashi prefecture, nestled among the foothills of Mt. Fuji.

Even when he was not the Prime Minister of Japan between 2007 and 2012, and more recently after 2020, our personal bond remained as strong as ever.

Every meeting with Abe San was intellectually stimulating. He was always full of new ideas and invaluable insights on governance, economy, culture, foreign policy, and various other subjects".

"During my Japan visit in May this year, I had the opportunity to meet Abe San, who had just taken over as the Chair of the Japan-India Association. He was his usual self - energetic, captivating, charismatic and very witty. He had innovative ideas on how to further strengthen the India-Japan friendship. When I said goodbye to him that day, little did I imagine that it would be our final meeting.

I will always be indebted for his warmth and wisdom, grace and generosity, friendship and guidance, and I will miss him dearly.

We in India mourn his passing as one of our own, just as he embraced us with an open heart. He died doing what he loved the most – inspiring his people. His life may have been cut short tragically, but his legacy will endure forever" PM Modi wrote.


Shinzo Abe's 2007 speech in India's Parliament had set the tone for a new era in India-Japan relations.

"During his visit to India in August 2007 as Prime Minister, Mr. Abe delivered his famous "The Confluence of Two Seas" speech in the Indian Parliament, in which he stated that India-Japan relationship is blessed with the largest potential for development of bilateral relationship anywhere in the world. His efforts have been instrumental in bringing our nations together to realize a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific," said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The late Japanese leader's immense contributions elevated the India-Japan relationship to the level of a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. A large number of milestone projects between India and Japan were initiated during his tenure as the Prime Minister of Japan.

The awarding of India’s second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, to Mr. Abe is testament to the respect and warmth that he enjoyed in India, the MEA noted.

Abe had assumed the leadership of both the Japan India Parliamentary Friendship League (JIPFL) and Japan India Association (JIA) in 2022, a reflection of his deep commitment to bolstering the India - Japan partnership.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also referred to this earlier in the day, when he shared a photo with the late Japanese leader.

"Sharing a picture from my most recent meeting with my dear friend, Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. Always passionate about strengthening India-Japan ties, he had just taken over as the Chairman of the Japan-India Association," PM Modi tweeted, along with an image showing him with Abe.