Abe’s life may have been cut short, but his legacy will last forever: Modi

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi penned a moving tribute to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling him a towering world statesman, a great champion of India-Japan friendship and a dear friend whose the advice inspired him in his economic choices for Gujarat when the state was then prime minister.

“We in India mourn his passing as one of our own, just as he embraced us with open hearts. He died doing what he loved most, inspiring his people. His life may have been tragically cut short, but his legacy will last forever,” Modi wrote in his blog post about Japan’s longest-serving prime minister.

“Shinzo Abe – an outstanding leader of Japan, a towering world statesman and a great champion of Indo-Japanese friendship – is no longer with us. Japan and the world have lost a great visionary. And, j ‘ve lost a dear friend,” he added.

Abe, 67, died after being shot during a campaign speech in western Japan on Friday.

Among Abe’s greatest gifts to people and his most lasting legacy, for which the world will always be indebted, is his foresight in recognizing the changing tides and the growing storm of our times and his leadership in responding to them, said Modi.

The Prime Minister noted that long before others, Abe, in his seminal speech to the Indian Parliament in 2007, laid the groundwork for the emergence of the Indo-Pacific region as a contemporary political, strategic and economic reality – a region that will also shape the world of this century.

“Each meeting with Abe San was intellectually stimulating. He was always full of new insights and invaluable ideas on governance, economy, culture, foreign policy and various other topics,” he said. he said of the leader with whom he shared a warm personal relationship.

Modi said it was his privilege as prime minister to work with Abe to bring about an unprecedented transformation in the strategic partnership between India and Japan.

From a largely close bilateral economic relationship, the Japanese leader helped transform it into a broad and comprehensive relationship, which not only covered all areas of national endeavor, but became essential for the security of both countries and the region, he said.

“For him, this was one of the most important relations for the people of our two countries and the world. He was determined to pursue the civil nuclear agreement with India – one of the most difficult for his country. – and decisive in offering the most generous terms for high-speed rail in India,” said Modi.

As at the most important milestones in the journey of independent India, he ensured that Japan stood side by side as the New India accelerated its growth, the Prime Minister added.

His contribution to Indo-Japanese relations has been widely recognized with the awarding of the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2021.

Paying tribute to Abe’s leadership, Modi said he had a deep knowledge of the complex and multiple transitions taking place in the world and the vision to be ahead of the times to see its impact on politics, society. , economics and international relations.

He had the wisdom to know the choices that needed to be made, the ability to make clear and bold decisions even in the face of convention, and the rare ability to take his people and the world with him.

“His ambitious policies – Abenomics – have reinvigorated the Japanese economy and revived the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship among its people,” he said.

Modi said he will be forever indebted for his warmth and wisdom, his grace and generosity, his friendship and guidance, and will be greatly missed.

Hailing his contribution to the region, he said Abe has led from the front in building a framework and architecture for its stable, secure, peaceful and prosperous future, based on values ​​he deeply cherishes. ; respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, adherence to international law and rules, the peaceful conduct of international relations in a spirit of equality and shared prosperity through deeper economic engagement.

Modi said the Quad, ASEAN-led forums, the Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative, the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure have all benefited from his contributions.

Quietly and without fanfare, and overcoming hesitation at home and skepticism abroad, he transformed Japan’s strategic engagement, including in defense, connectivity, infrastructure and sustainability, across the Indo-Pacific region. For this, the region is more optimistic about its destiny and the world more confident about its future, he writes.

Recalling their close personal ties, Modi said he first met him in 2007 when he visited Japan as chief minister of Gujarat. From that first meeting, their friendship went beyond the trappings of the office and the chains of official protocol, he said.

Their visit to Toji Temple in Kyoto, train journey on the Shinkansen, visit to Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad in addition to their attendance at Ganga Aarati in Kashi and the elaborate tea ceremony in Tokyo, the list of their memorable interactions is in long effect, he said. .

“And I will always cherish the singular honor of being invited to his family home in Yamanashi Prefecture, nestled at the foot of Mount Fuji,” Modi said, adding that even when Abe was not Prime Minister of Japan between 2007 and 2012, and more recently after 2020, their personal bond has remained as strong as ever.

Expressing his condolences, the Prime Minister said, “I extend my deepest condolences on behalf of the people of India and on my own behalf to the people of Japan, especially Mrs. Akie Abe and her family. Om Shanti.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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