Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been announced to receive the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honor. Abe, who served as prime minister for the longest time, resigned in August last year, citing health issues. With his decision, India also sent him back with a heavy heart. Indeed, Abe has played a major role in strengthening relations between India and Japan.
Abe deepened the relationship
Abe has visited India several times, even becoming Japan’s most frequent prime minister. He was the first Japanese Prime Minister to join India as the main guest on Republic Day. The “global partnership” between the two countries officially started in 2001 and in 2005 it was decided to hold annual bilateral meetings. However, this process boomed after 2012 because of Abe.
Made ‘confluence of two oceans’
One of the most discussed agreements with India during Abe’s tenure is the creation of a free and open Indo-Pacific. At the beginning, when Abe first came to India, he captured the heart of India, talking about “the confluence of two oceans”. After that, the government in India changed but the foundation of the friendship between the two countries remained on the same surrender.
Padma Awards 2021 Full list: Padma Awards announced; former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe receives Padma Vibhushan and Ram Vilas Paswan receives Padma Bhushan, see full list
Work on many important issues
Subsequently, a number of issues were settled between the two countries, such as civilian nuclear power, maritime safety, high-speed trains, Act East policy and Indo-Pacific strategy. An agreement between the Japan Self-Defense Force and the Armed Forces of India for the exchange of supplies and services (Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, ACSA) has also been concluded.
Example of friendship with PM Modi
The friendship between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abe was very popular. Even after resigning from the post, Abe not only remembered the meeting with Prime Minister Modi, but also spoke for half an hour on the phone. During this, he expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for his relationship of friendship and trust. PM Modi also praised Abe’s efforts and recalled the interactions with each other.