Indian PM Modi expected to attend Abe’s state funeral

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida before the Quad Summit in Tokyo in May.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend a state funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, slated to be held at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on Sept. 27, several sources in both governments said.

The governments of Japan and India are coordinating their views on the matter, the sources said.

Abe was fatally shot in July.

As prime minister, Abe had reinforced the Japan-India relationship with an eye toward countering a rising China. He also took the lead in the Quad, a four-nation framework of Japan, the United States, Australia and India.

In May, when Modi came to Japan to attend the Quad summit hosted by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, he also held talks with Abe.

Following Abe’s death, Modi wrote on Twitter: “I am shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of my dearest friends.”

Before Modi’s visit, the two governments are expected to hold a two-plus-two dialogue of their foreign and defense ministers in Tokyo, possibly on or around Sept. 8.

The Japanese government has begun compiling a list of about 6,400 people to be invited to attend the funeral.

A state funeral was held for postwar Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida at the Nippon Budokan in 1967. The state funeral for Abe is expected to be held on a similar scale.

The expenses will be borne entirely by the state, with the necessary outlays to be approved at a Cabinet meeting shortly.