External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Visits Japanese Embassy, Conveys Condolences Over Shinzo Abe's Assassination

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead on Friday during an election campaign event.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at Japanese embassy to convey condolences

Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Saturday visited the Embassy of Japan in New Delhi and conveyed condolences to Ambassador Satoshi Suzuki over the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Following Abe's assassination on Friday, India observed state mourning on Saturday as a mark of respect to him. 

"For more than two decades, Shinzo Abe has symbolized our growing relationship. Many of its key initiatives were his personal efforts. He placed our ties in a larger global context of the free and open Indo-Pacific," said Jaishankar in a tweet after his visit.

Jaishankar further said, "At a personal level, he was the very embodiment of grace and consideration. I have myself experienced his warmth over the years. We join in the profound sorrow of the people of Japan and convey our support and sympathy to Mrs. Akie Abe."

Satoshi Suzuki, the Ambassador of Japan to India, said he "sincerely appreciated" Jaishankar's gesture.

"Sincerely appreciate Dr S Jaishankar for visiting me to express his condolences for former Prime Minister Abe. While mourning together this shocking tragedy, we will continue his legacy to further enhance our bilateral relations," said Suzuki in a tweet.

Abe was shot on Friday during an election campaign event. He was airlifted to a hospital but could not be saved. The suspected shooter been arrested.

Abe was prime minister of Japan from 2006 to 2007 and then again for a second stint from 2012 to 2020. He was Japan's longest-serving prime minister who played a major role in strengthening ties between India and Japan.

Earlier on Friday, Jaishankar called it a "sad day" after Abe's death was announced.

"A sad day for Japan, for India,the world and for me personally. A quarter century of memories of Shinzo Abe. No words to express them," said Jaishankar in a tweet.

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed shock and sadness in a series of tweets.

He 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.

"My association with Mr. Abe 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.

"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."

(With PTI inputs)