The kind of poignant reactions of world leaders to the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are seldom given. India had declared Saturday as a national day of mourning. There have been reports of assassinations of several foreign presidents and prime ministers so far, but India's response to Abe's assassination has been extraordinary. There are many reasons for this.
Abe is the first Japanese Prime Minister to have visited India four times. His grandfather Prime Minister Nobushuke Kishi came to India in 1957 at the invitation of Prime Minister Nehru. It was Abe who first called the Far East or East Asia region the Indo-Pacific. He said this while giving a speech in our Parliament during his 2007 visit to India. When he became the Prime Minister again, he took the initiative and implemented this new and original concept. The quadrangle of America, India, Japan and Australia, which has been made, is due to him.
The trade, strategic and cultural ties between India and Japan were as strong as ever during the reign of Abe. Relations between India and Japan have never been strained, but there was a wall of intimacy, a credit to Abe and the international situation for pulling it off. Japan was an active member of the American bloc during the Cold War era and India was considered an unofficial ally of the Soviet bloc. It was Shinzo Abe who pulled our bilateral relations out of this narrow street. India's relations with Japan are getting closer.
Investment of Japanese companies in India is increasing at a rapid pace. With the help of Japan, India's fastest train is being built. The personal relationship between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abe had become so intimate that the two visited each other's countries and cities several times.
Nevertheless, Abe was a phenomenal and unique among Japanese prime ministers. His grandfather was the Prime Minister and his father was the Foreign Minister. He himself was elected Prime Minister twice. He served as the Prime Minister for the first time from 2006 to 2007 and for the second time from 2012 to 2020.
For a long time no Japanese leader could hold this position. His greatest contribution was in the desire to make Japan a truly independent and sovereign nation. It was Abe who made the most powerful request for the breaking of the military bonds imposed by the Allies on the Japanese constitution due to the excesses of World War II.
He did not get complete success in this work, but he opened many new dimensions of military cooperation with other nations for the first time. He also wanted to rectify the deteriorating Japan-Russian relations in 1904. He built a strong frontline against Chinese aggression, but at the same time he was successful in maintaining modest relations between China and Japan. Heartfelt tribute to such a great friend of India!