Soon after the news broke, India announced a day of mourning as a mark of respect to its 'great friend' Abe. Tributes poured in over the loss of the ex-Japanese premier, who was Japan's longest-serving leader before stepping down in 2020 for health reasons.
Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar took to Twitter to mourn the sudden demise of Abe. He called the late Liberal Democratic Party President a 'sincere seeker' and 'admirer of spirituality'.
Alongside three pictures of himself with the late leader, the yoga guru said that Abe regularly practised meditation and sudarshan kriya with his wife Akie, who is a Japanese radio DJ.
According to the Art of Living Foundation, Sudarshan Kriya is a unique rhythmic breathing technique that removes toxins and deep-rooted stress from the mind-body complex. The breathing exercise is known to help people suffering from anxiety, depression, Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder and high stress levels.
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The 68-year old leader was associated with the Ravi Shankar's Art of Living Foundation for more than a decade.
"He sought to blend the ancient & the modern. His pragmatic leadership will be remembered," his tribute post read.
Abe, the longest-serving prime minister of Japan, was assassinated in the west Japanese town of Nara while campaigning for his party. He was airlifted to a hospital for emergency treatment but was not breathing and his heart had stopped. He was later pronounced dead despite emergency treatment.
Abe left an indelible mark on Japan-India ties and shared a great rapport with most leaders.
In their tribute, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also described Abe as a statesman and an outstanding leader.
In 2006, Manmohan Singh and Abe had factored in the new challenges, and the relationship was upgraded to a Global and Strategic Partnership with the provision of annual Prime Ministerial Summits.
In 2007, Abe became the first-ever Japanese PM to address a joint session of the Indian Parliament. Addressing the MPs, the Japanese leader recalled the time India's first PM Jawaharlal Nehru hosted Abe's maternal grandfather the then Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi in New Delhi in 1957.
Abe was also the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi in 2014.
Abe's 2017 India visit during which he visited Ahmedabad also saw the laying of the foundation of India's first bullet train project.
Political Leaders The World Lost
Shinzo Abe, the former Prime Minister of Japan, died on July 8 after a 41-year-old man opened fire on him. Unfortunately, throughout history, several leaders have been assassinated due to political and personal reasons. Most leaders were killed over their political stance, while some were due to personal rivalry.