Calling Shinzo Abe one of his “dearest friends”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a day-long national mourning for the former Japanese Prime Minister on Saturday. Abe was one of the most consequential leaders of Japan in its post-war history. He was Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister, staying in the post from 2006 to 2007, and then from 2012 to 2020. During his time in office, Abe was a great friend of India — a relationship that he invested personally in – and shared a special rapport with Modi.
When Abe announced his decision to step down in 2020, Modi had tweeted: “Pained to hear about your ill health, my dear friend… In recent years, with your wise leadership and personal commitment, the India-Japan partnership has become deeper and stronger than ever before. I wish and pray for your speedy recovery.”