Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had a productive exchange of views on further deepening ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday and conveyed his deepest condolences for the demise of former Prime Minister Shinzo 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 Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

Prime Minister Modi was in Tokyo to attend the State Funeral ceremony of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Budokan.

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

In his opening remarks during his meeting with PM Kishida, Prime Minister Modi said, "Along with Abe San, you in the role of Foreign Minister have taken the India-Japan relationship to new heights and also expanded it further in many areas. And our friendship, the friendship of India and Japan, also played a major role in creating a global impact. And for all this, today, the people of India remember Abe San very much, remember Japan very much. India is always missing him in a way".

Prime Minister Modi added that he was confident that under PM Kishida's leadership, India-Japan relations will deepen further, and scale to greater heights. "And I firmly believe that we will be able to play an appropriate role in finding solutions to the problems of the world," he said

According to the MEA, 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 leaders renewed their commitment towards further strengthening the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership, and in working together in the region and in various international groupings and institutions, the MEA added.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra had underlined the special relationship between India and Japan while addressing a special media briefing ahead of Prime Minister Modi's Tokyo visit.

"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 said.

This visit of PM Modi to Japan comes after PM Kishida’s visit to India for the 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 the 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.