Abe helped strengthen Indo-Japanese relations

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India

oi-Jagdish N Singh

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Updated: Thursday, July 14, 2022, 7:58 AM [IST]

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Abe was probably the most recognizable Japanese politician of the past three decades, and so his death shook his contemporaries around the world.

The news of the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is truly shocking.

Abe helped strengthen Indo-Japanese relations

Reports said Shinzo Abe, 67, was struck by an assassin’s bullet while campaigning in Nara Prefecture for Japan’s Upper House elections. Abe’s speech was interrupted by two loud bangs – possibly from a shotgun – and smoke, with Abe stumbling to the ground after the second shot.

Abe’s killer is a 42-year-old man named Tetsuya Yamagami, from Nara. He is a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force. The weapon allegedly used in the attack was homemade.

Shinzo Abe has set out a bold vision for the India-Japan partnershipShinzo Abe has set out a bold vision for the India-Japan partnership

It is hoped that the Japanese intelligence services will scientifically and objectively probe the whole tragic episode and bring to justice the real culprits in the case of Abe’s assassination. Japan is said to have near-zero tolerance for owning firearms. It has one of the lowest gun violence rates in the world. This makes the deadly attack on Abe particularly intriguing.

In Abe’s death, Japan lost a rare statesman. It turned out that he was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. There is near consensus across the global strategic spectrum that Abe served Japan and the world with unprecedented commitment and distinction. He was a champion of the multilateral world order. He was a leader with great vision. This made him an extraordinary partner for his contemporary political leaderships in India, the United States, Australia and Taiwan.

Abe took U.S.-Japan relations “to new heights” during his tenure. He did the same in the case of Japan-India relations. Abe had also forged a deep personal relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to further strengthen the already growing ties between Japan and India.

No wonder leaders and politicians around the world, including India, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, Australia, Indonesia and Taiwan, have expressed their deep sorrow over upon Abe’s death. In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi said, “Deeply saddened by the attack on my dear friend Abe Shinzo. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and the people of Japan.”

Given Abe’s historic efforts to promote Japan-India relations, the Modi government was right to declare a day of national mourning for his tragic passing.

It is surprising that no senior leader of China, Japan’s close neighbor, has so far expressed grief over Abe’s death. We hope it’s not because former Japanese Prime Minister Abe was seen as a “China hawk”. It is hoped that just because Abe was instrumental in forming the Quad group is not what Beijing perceives as aiming to contain its aggressive designs in the region.

(Jagdish N. Singh is a senior journalist based in New Delhi. He is also a Senior Distinguished Fellow at Gatestone Institute, New York)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of OneIndia and OneIndia assumes no responsibility or liability for them.

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