Former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe shall live on in the hearts of millions, Prime Minister Modi said

Paying tribute to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after attending his state funeral in Tokyo on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him as a great leader, a phenomenal individual and someone who believed in India-Japan friendship.

"When I was in Tokyo earlier this year, little did I imagine I would be back for the solemn programme of former PM Abe’s state funeral. He was a great leader, a phenomenal individual and someone who believed in India-Japan friendship. He shall live on in the hearts of millions!" PM Modi tweeted, sharing a picture showing him paying his tributes to Abe.

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

Representatives from over 100 countries, including more than 20 Heads of State / Government participated in the State Funeral at the Nippon Budokan, Tokyo.

Prime Minister honoured the memory of former PM Abe, who he considered a dear friend and a great champion of India-Japan partnership, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

Following the State Funeral, Prime Minister Modi had a private meeting with Akie Abe, spouse of late PM Abe, at the Akasaka Palace.

Prime Minister Modi conveyed his heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Abe. He recalled his fond friendship and the significant contribution made by former PM Abe in taking India-Japan relationship to new heights, the MEA said.

Prime Minister Modi also had a brief interaction thereafter with Prime Minister Kishida to reiterate his condolences.

The two Prime Ministers had also held a bilateral meeting earlier in the day where PM Modi conveyed his deepest condolences at the demise of former Prime Minister Abe.

Prime Minister Modi noted the contributions of late Prime Minister Abe in strengthening India-Japan partnership as well in conceptualizing the vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, the MEA said.