New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday condoled the demise of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and announced one day of national mourning on Saturday.
In a series of tweets, Modi said: "I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends, Shinzo Abe. He was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place."
Recalling his long association with Abe, Modi said that it "goes back many years".
"I had got to know him during my tenure as Gujarat CM and our friendship continued after I became PM. His sharp insights on economy and global affairs always made a deep impression on me.
"During my recent visit to Japan, I had the opportunity to meet Mr Abe again and discuss many issues. He was witty and insightful as always. Little did I know that this would be our last meeting. My heartfelt condolences to his family and the Japanese people."
Sharing a picture of a recent meeting, he said: "Sharing a picture from my most recent meeting with my dear friend, Shinzo Abe in Tokyo. Always passionate about strengthening India-Japan ties, he had just taken over as the Chairman of the Japan-India Association."
About Abe's contribution to India-Japan relations, Modi said: "Mr Abe made an immense contribution to elevating India-Japan relations to the level of a Special Strategic and Global Partnership. Today, whole India mourns with Japan and we stand in solidarity with our Japanese brothers and sisters in this difficult moment."
He announced that as a mark of their deepest respect to Abe, a one-day national mourning will be observed on July 9.
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