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2+2 Ministerial Meeting: Rajnath Singh offers condolences to counterpart over Shinzo Abe's demise

Tokyo: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during the opening statement of the 2+2 Ministerial Meeting on Thursday offered condolences to his Japanese counterpart Yasukazu Hamada in Tokyo on the demise of the former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"Let me extend heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of Shinzo Abe. His contributions were significant in elevating the India-Japan relationship. India stands in solidarity with the people of Japan as they recover from this loss,' said Defence Minister at 2nd India-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister who left office in 2020, was fatally shot on July 8 by a 41-year-old man while he was delivering a stump speech on a street in the western city of Nara ahead of Sunday's House of Councillors election.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar attended the second India-Japan 2+2 ministerial dialogue in Tokyo today.
"This year, we are celebrating 70 years of our diplomatic relations and we are honoured to hold an event to commemorate this in December in New Delhi where personnel from both of our ground forces will come together," Rajnath Singh said in Tokyo.
The Defence Minister, who is in Tokyo along with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Tokyo noted that there has been significant progress in bilateral relations between India and Japan in recent times.
Both countries have had a long history of cultural and civilisational ties. "As two thriving democracies in Asia, we are pursuing a special strategic and global partnership," he said.
Speaking at the event, EAM Jaishankar highlighted the shared values between India and Japan.
"India-Japan partnership is of immense importance. It is rooted in our shared values of democracy, freedom and respect for rule of law. The strategic aspects of the relationship have gained new meaning in recent years reflected in our recent bilateral and plurilateral engagements," he said.
Rajnath Singh will also attend a community event organised by the Embassy of India in Tokyo and interact with the Indian diaspora in Japan.
The economic relationship between India and Japan has steadily expanded and deepened in recent years as the volume of trade between the two countries has increased manifold.
Back in May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a bilateral meeting with Japanese PM Fumio Kishida in Japan and had a productive exchange of views on enhancing bilateral relations in various spheres as well as on some regional and global issues.
During the talks, the two leaders agreed to further enhance bilateral security and defence cooperation, including in the area of defence manufacturing. At that time, they had concurred that the next 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting may be held in Japan at the earliest. (ANI)

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