Shinzo Abe was inspired by Swami Vivekananda’s ties to Japan


Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, died July 8 after he was shot while delivering a campaign speech in Nara. An advocate of the idea of ​​a “Broader Asia”, he was the chief architect of Japan’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Policy”, closely aligned with India’s “Act East” policy. He was also a transformative leader in the Indo-Japanese relationship. In a landmark speech to the Indian Parliament in 2007 – “Confluence of the Two Seas” – Abe quoted Vivekananda’s 1893 speech in Chicago to point out that among India’s many contributions to world history are ” first of all its spirit of tolerance”. Hailing Swami Vivekananda as a great spiritual leader offered by India to the world, Abe said, “Vivekananda got to know Tenshin Okakura, a man ahead of his time in early modern Japan and a type of man from the Renaissance. Okakura was later guided by Vivekananda and also maintained a friendship with Sister Nivedita, Vivekananda’s loyal disciple and a distinguished social reformer. Interestingly, Swami Vivekananda had also been very impressed with Japan when he visited the country on his way to the World Congress of Religions in 1893. In an interview with The Hindu in 1897, he shared: “The world never seen such patriotism. and of artistic race like the Japanese…..The key to Japan’s sudden greatness is the Japanese’s faith in themselves and their love for their country. He added, “When you have men who are ready to sacrifice everything for their country, sincere to the spine – when such men come forward, India will become great in every way. It is the men who make the country! What is in the country? “If you catch the social morality and political morality of the Japanese, you will be as great as them. The Japanese are ready to sacrifice everything for their country and they are become a great people,” he said. Not just Swami Vivekananda, two other legendary rulers of India also had great respect for Japan – Subhash Chandra Bose and Rabindranath Tagore. Rabindranath Tagore in Japan. Source: George Grantham Bain. (Flickr Commons) In 1916, Tagore (Asia’s first Nobel laureate) stayed at Sankeien Gardens in the Japanese port city of Yokohama for three months as a guest of silk merchant and patron Tomitaro Hara What impressed him the most during these months, it’s Japanese intimacy with nature. As for Netaji Bose, he is considered by many Japanese as a noble martyr and a cloaked samurai who fought for the freedom of his nation. Even 77 years after his death, he remains the best-known Indian hero in Japan. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose listening to Japanese Prime Minister Tojo in the Japanese parliament. , going a little further back in time, the ageless poet Rabindranath Tagore — engaged deep in their souls with their Japanese contemporaries. Indeed, the depth and richness of the exchanges that the intellectual leaders of Japan and India enjoyed in the early modern era are in some ways beyond what we can imagine in modern times. Helping to elevate India-Japan relations, Abe also shared that the Japanese have “undergone a ‘discovery of India’, which means we have rediscovered India as a partner who shares the same values ​​and interests and also as a friend who will work alongside us to enrich the seas of freedom and prosperity, which will be open and transparent for all. With his powerful words, Abe brought India and Japan together, paving the way for their economic and strategic ties to flourish. Through her fearless dissent in the Tokyo trials, Judge Radha Binod Pal had captured the hearts of a nation. His PM Nobusuke Kishi had honored him. Years later, when his grandson became Prime Minister, he made it a point to come to Kolkata to meet his son Prashanta Pal. #ShinzoAbe – sanjoy ghose (@advsanjoy) July 8, 2022 In 2021 he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan – India’s second highest civilian honour. With his passing, India has lost a faithful and trustworthy friend who will be remembered for many years. Sources: “The Abroad and the Problems at Home”, published by The Hindu in February 1897. “Finding Rabindranath Tagore in Japan”, published by The Hindu on December 9, 2018. “’Confluence of Two Seas’: Shinzo Abe’s 2007 speech that Shaped 21st Century India-Japan Ties,” published by The Print on July 8, 2022. Edited by Yoshita Rao


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