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Manmohan Singh a 'dear friend', says Japanese Premier Abe

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight hosted a private dinner for his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, who described him as one of his mentors and a “dear friend”.The dinner at the Prime Minister's official
India TV News Desk January 26, 2014 21:38 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight hosted a private dinner for his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, who described him as one of his mentors and a “dear friend”.

The dinner at the Prime Minister's official residence at 7 Race Course Road was attended by Abe and his wife Aki, who joined Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur.  Abe had hosted a similar dinner for Singh and his wife during the Indian leader's visit to Japan in May last year. Tomohiko Taniguchi, Councillor in Japan's Cabinet Secretariat and part of Abe's delegation, said the premier's trip to India was to pay tribute to the “tremendous accomplishments” of Singh.

He told reporters that Abe regards Singh as a “dear friend”.

Talking about the significance of Abe's visit, he said, “First of all it is to pay tribute to the tremendous accomplishments of Prime Minister Singh, who Shinzo Abe has for many years regarded as one of his mentors. Knowing that Prime Minister Singh is soon ending his political career, Shinzo Abe wanted to pay a tribute to him.” Taniguchi recalled Abe's 2007 visit to India, during which his health had deteriorated.