PM Narendra Modi to visit Japan to attend former Japanese PM’s funeral

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Japan to attend Shinzo Abe’s state funeral. According to an earlier announcement from the external affairs ministry, Modi would meet separately with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida while in Japan. The visit is likely to last less than a day. Sources told HT that Modi would also be among the world leaders expected to call Abe’s widow separately.

On July 8, Abe was shot and killed while attending a campaign event. In addition to promoting a vision for an open and free Indo-Pacific region, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister played a pioneering role in the creation of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue Quad), which brings together Australia, India, Japan and the US.

It is great that PM Modi would be able to go despite his busy schedule and attend the state funeral because Japan is a friendly nation and an essential partner, according to external affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. Modi had a “personal connect” with the former Japanese prime minister, Bagchi added.

Following Abe’s murder in July, information came to light about connections between politicians in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the party in power that he formerly led, and the Unification Church, which some have referred to as a cult.

By expressing regret and promising to cut off the LDP’s ties to the church, which was established in South Korea in the 1950s and is well-known for its large-scale weddings and aggressive fundraising, Kishida has attempted to contain the damage. However, the consequences for the party and his administration have been severe.

Abe’s alleged killer said that the church had caused his family to suffer. Before the murder, he accused Abe of aiding the group in social media posts.

To honour Abe, India announced a day of national mourning. In a message released soon after the Japanese leader’s death, Modi characterised Abe as “a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator”.

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