Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may have more than 300,000 followers on his official Twitter account, but there are only three people who have the distinction of being followed by him: his wife Akie Abe, embattled former Tokyo governor Naoki Inose, and now, newly-elected Prime Minister-Designate of India, Narendra Modi. The two nationalists are seen to have been exchanging messages of appreciation after Modi’s landslide win last Friday.
The two met seven years ago, when Modi was still chief minister of the western state of Gujarat and Abe was the leader of the then opposition. During the Japanese premier’s return to office in late 2012, Modi was among the first to congratulate him. When Abe congratulated him through Twitter on his win last week, Modi replied, “Personally, I have a wonderful experience of working with Japan … I am sure we will take India-Japan ties to newer heights.” Abe responded by saying, “@narendramodi Great talking to you, Mr. Modi. I look forward to welcoming you in Tokyo and further deepening our friendly ties.”
India and Japan have shared generally good bilateral relations, particularly when it comes to economic, trade and defense ties. Japan is actually 13th on the list of India’s top trading partners, way behind competitor China, but Abe has been looking at significantly improving that. During his January visit to New Delhi, he said that this has “the greatest potential of any bilateral relationship anywhere in the world.” Modi’s victory will most likely further strengthen the ties, after he will be sworn into office on Monday.
[ via Reuters ]
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