Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s assassination on Friday has left the world in shock. The gunman used a homemade firearm to shoot the leader at close range while he was delivering a campaign speech in the Japanese city of Nara. Given Shinzo Abe’s towering stature as a world leader, reactions from around the globe poured in. The most notable one among them was Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s heartfelt tribute to his “friend, Abe San”.
Visibly anguished by the demise of Shinzo Abe, PM Modi penned a thoughtful note in his memory. “Shinzo Abe – an outstanding leader of Japan, a towering global statesman, and a great champion of India-Japan friendship – is not among us anymore. Japan and the world have lost a great visionary. And, I have lost a dear friend,” wrote the Prime Minister.
The tribute was an exceptional sight of a genuine friendship surviving and thriving in the midst of global politics and public diplomacy. PM Modi wrote, “I will always be indebted for his warmth and wisdom, grace and generosity, friendship and guidance, and I will miss him dearly.”
PM Modi’s profound gesture has been received with great warmth and awe by the world. “This is a beautiful tribute by Modi. They really had a special relationship,” wrote Bonnie Glaser, Director at the Asia Program, German Marshall Fund. Meanwhile, Sheila A. Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies at the Council of Foreign Relations reacted, “A touching tribute to former PM Abe from India’s PM Modi.”
“Even in international relations there is still some space for friendship. And so there is hope,” wrote Alexandra Sitenko, a Berlin-based political analyst.
Cate Long, Head of the Research Service for Puerto Rico Bondholders, tweeted, “Very touching tribute by India’s Prime Minister Modi exulting the warm relationship he enjoyed with former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his substantial policy contributions.”
“This is really personal and authentic,” wrote another intellectual, Julian Ku, a Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor. The Japan-India partnership always had a natural pull, but Abe and Modi seemed to really take it to the next level helped by their personal relationship, he added.
Prime Minister Modi recalled that during his Japan visit in May this year, he had the opportunity to meet Abe, 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,” wrote the Prime Minister.
“A very nice thoughtful tribute to Abe from the Indian PM, likely written by Modi himself. Abe did a lot for Modi and for India and the bilateral relationship, and will be missed,” reacted Ambika Vishwanath, Co-Founder Kubernein a Geopolitical Advisory.
PM Modi’s sentiments were amplified by External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar as well who called the tribute a “personal account of friendship” penned by PM Modi for Shinzo Abe.
BJP leader K. Annamalai remarked that by reading the blog, one could understand why some friendships are beyond boundaries and connected by the soul. “We have lost a true friend of India today,” said the leader.
News Source : News18