PM Modi offers ‘floral’ tribute to his ‘friend’ Shinzo Abe

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the state funeral of the late former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. This was the first time in 55 years that a state funeral was held for a deceased Japanese leader.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the state funeral of the late former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. This was the first time in 55 years that a state funeral was held for a deceased Japanese leader.

Abe’s widow, Akie, carried his ashes to the Budokan Hall in Tokyo where thousands of mourners had gathered and a 19-gun salute was sounded as she walked in.

The funeral had over 700 tourists flown in along with 50 current and former heads of state and representatives from over 100 countries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong, Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, outh Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, Philippines Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio, Indonesia Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, and European Council President Charles Michel.

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US Vice President Kamala Harris and Australian PM Anthony Albanese were also among those present at the ceremony. At 10.30 am, the state funeral began, and after that, PM Modi joined other international leaders in paying their condolences to Abe.

PM Modi placed bowed down and placed a small bouquet of white flowers as a mark of respect to Abe whom he referred to as a “towering statesman” and “a friend of India”.

In the meantime, PM Modi, who arrived in Tokyo earlier on September 27, spoke with the current PM Fumio Kishida and asserted that Abe elevated took relations between Japan and India to a new level. He assured Kishida that he is convinced that he will drive India-Japan relations to new heights.

A poll by AFP showed that 60% of Japanese people oppose the decision to give Abe a state funeral – only the second for a former premier in the post-war period.