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Modi Reconnects with Suga, Abe, Mori as the Three Former Japanese PMs Call on Him in Tokyo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on May 24, 2022. (News18/Handout)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on May 24, 2022. (News18/Handout)

PM Narendra Modi invited Yoshihide Suga to attend Ganeshotsav festivities in India as the former Japanese premier belongs to a bloc of MPs called the Ganesha group

In Tokyo to attend the Quad summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met three former Japanese premiers — Yoshihide Suga, Shinzo Abe and Yoshiro Mori — when they called on him.

Modi, who has enjoyed warm chemistry with his former counterparts from Japan, also invited Suga to attend Ganeshotsav festivities in India this year.

Suga, who served as Japan’s PM from September 2020 to September 2021, is part of a group of 15 Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers called the ‘Ganesha’ group, named after the Hindu god worshiped as a destroyer of obstacles.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets former Japanese premier Yoshihide Suga in Tokyo on May 24, 2022. (News18/Handout)

The MPs who belong to this group have three things in common – they are first-generation lawmakers, have served four or less terms in the Lower House and they do not belong to any faction.

Among the former prime minister of Japan, Modi had a particularly close friendship with Shinzo Abe, the longest serving Japanese PM who was in office from December 2012 to September 2016.

During Abe’s visit to India in December 2015, the two leaders held summit talks in New Delhi followed by a trip to Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of the Indian PM, where the two leaders performed the Ganga aarti.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with former Japanese PMs Shinzo Abe and Yoshiro Mori in Tokyo on May 24, 2022. (News18/Handout)

Abe returned the favour with a diplomatic charm offensive when Modi visited Japan in October 2018. Besides holding talks in Tokyo, Abe had hosted Modi at his vacation home near Mount Fuji, the first time he had invited a foreign leader to his private lodge.

While the tenures of Yoshiro Mori, who served as Japan PM in 2000-2001, and Modi never coincided, the two leaders had met previously during the Indian PM’s 2016 trip.

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first published:May 24, 2022, 14:52 IST