New Delhi [India], July 22 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said that late Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a special place for India in his heart. He played a unique role in developing and defining the contemporary relationship between the two countries.
Taking to Twitter, the minister said, "Joined friends & admirers of former Japan PM Shinzo Abe to pay tribute to him. Abe San had a special place for India in his heart. He prepared Japan to face a more uncertain & turbulent world. He strove to create a rules-based order that recognizes importance of democratic values."
Jaishankar was speaking at an event organised by a non-profit organisation to pay tribute to Shinzo Abe.
Speaking at the event, he said, "We are gathered here in tribute to former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe a few weeks after his tragic assassination. It is natural that on an occasion like this, we would be sharing our recollections and exchanging memories. But I think, if we are to do him justice, it is important to evaluate his contribution not just to his own country's security, foreign policy and development but actually to international relations over the last 30 years."
Jaishankar further said, "Shinzo Abe has had a very unique role in developing and defining our contemporary relationship. He took it to places which normally would've taken us a few years."
"PM Abe developed a long interest in India and one of the expressions of that interest was actually to encourage us to do a trilateral between India, US and Japan," Jaishankar added.
Abe was shot on July 8 in the Japanese city of Nara during a poll campaign speech. Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, approached the politician from behind and fired two shots from a distance of about 10 meters (33 feet).
The attacker reportedly plotted the assassination of the 67-year-old former head of government for nearly a year.
Abe, Japan's longest-serving Prime Minister, stepped down in 2020 citing health reasons. He was Prime Minister of Japan twice, from 2006-07 and again from 2012-20. He was succeeded by Yoshihide Suga and later by Fumio Kishida.
Shinzo Abe was a friend of India whose tenure saw the bilateral ties gain new strength and depth and whose strategic vision left a deep imprint on the global stage.
A charismatic leader, who was the first Japanese Prime Minister born after the Second World War, Abe left a lasting economic legacy in Japan which became famous as 'Abenomics'. (ANI)