Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also separately meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be leaving for Tokyo today (Monday) to attend the state funeral of former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

During his visit, Prime Minister Modi will also separately meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said in a special media briefing.

Abe, Japan's longest-serving Prime Minister, was shot dead on July 8 while delivering a campaign speech in western Japan's Nara prefecture.

Prime Minister Modi will attend the State Funeral ceremony at Budokan, followed by a greeting occasion at Akasaka Palace. Additionally, he will also meet Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Akie Abe.

According to Foreign Secretary Kwatra, the bilateral meeting between PM Modi and PM Kishida during the upcoming visit will be an opportunity for the two leaders to reaffirm their commitment to further strengthening of India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.

Representatives from over 100 countries, including more than 20 Heads of State/Heads of Government are expected to participate in the State Funeral.

India had announced a one-day national mourning on July 9 as a mark of respect for Abe Shinzo.

"The visit will be an opportunity for PM Modi to honor the memory of former PM Abe, who he considered a dear friend and a great champion of India-Japan ties. PM Modi and PM Abe developed a personal bond through their meetings and interactions spanning over a decade, beginning from PM Modi’s visit to Japan in 2007 as Chief Minister of Gujarat," the Foreign Secretary pointed out.

The two leaders elevated India-Japan relations to the status of Special Strategic and Global Partnership in 2014.

"PM Abe made significant contributions to deepening India-Japan relations, turning a largely economic relationship into a broad, comprehensive, and strategic partnership, making it pivotal for the two countries’ and region’s security," Foreign Secretary Kwatra added.

He also referred to the late Japanese leader's famous "Confluence of Two Seas" speech in the Indian Parliament in 2007 which laid the ground for the emergence of Indo-Pacific region as a contemporary political, strategic, and economic reality.

"PM Abe’s contribution to India-Japan relations was recognized by the conferment upon him of the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2021," Foreign Secretary Kwatra said.

This visit of PM Modi to Japan comes after PM Kishida’s visit to India for India-Japan Summit meeting in March, and PM Modi’s visit to Japan for the Quad Leaders’ Summit in May this year (PM Modi and PM Kishida also held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of Quad Leaders’ Summit).

"These meetings underscored the two leaders’ commitment towards deepening India-Japan ties, particularly in the context of shaping a post-pandemic regional and global order," Foreign Secretary Kwatra said.

"There is deep convergence in our visions of Indo-Pacific region and there is close cooperation between our countries on issues of international importance," he added.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of India-Japan diplomatic relationship. Today, Japan is one of the most trusted and valued strategic partners of India. The two sides are committed to strengthening bilateral partnership on key areas of Trade & Investment, Defence & Security, Climate Change, Health Security, Infrastructure, Digital, Industrial Development, Energy, Critical and Emerging Technologies, and Human Resources, among others.