PM Narendra Modi and Japanese  PM  Shinzo Abe
PM Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe
Twitter (@narendramodi)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a telephonic conversation with his outgoing Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and conveyed his gratitude for playing a key role in greatly strengthening ties between India and Japan.

In the talks, Modi apprised Abe his intention to work closely with the new government of Japan and wished him the very best for the future, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

It said the two leaders expressed confidence that the strong momentum attained in partnership between the two countries in the last few years will continue unabated in the future.

Last month, Abe decided to resign citing health issues.

"Made a phone call to my dear friend @AbeShinzo to wish him good health and happiness. I deeply cherish our long association. His leadership and commitment have been vital in taking India-Japan partnership to new heights. I am sure this momentum will continue in the coming years," Modi tweeted.

At a media briefing, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava described the conversation between Modi and Abe as "very warm" and said the two leaders recalled their memories of meetings in Varanasi and Sabarmati, and Japanese cities of Kobe and Kyoto.

In a statement, the MEA said Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Abe for his personal commitment and leadership in greatly strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

The two leaders also welcomed the signing of a reciprocal logistics support agreement between the Indian Armed Forces and the Self-Defense Forces of Japan.

"They concurred that the agreement will further enhance the depth of defence cooperation between the two countries and contribute to peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region," the MEA said.

After years of negotiations, India and Japan on Wednesday signed the landmark agreement that will allow their militaries access each other's bases for logistics support.

Reaffirming their mutual trust and friendship, Modi and Abe recalled their shared experiences during visits to each other's countries, the MEA said.

It said the two leaders reviewed the status of ongoing cooperation, including the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project, under the framework of the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.

They agreed that the strong and enduring partnership between the two countries will play a critical role in charting the course for the global community in the post-COVID world.

The MEA said the two leaders expressed appreciation for the support provided to resident citizens in each other's countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and agreed that such efforts must be continued to sustain the strong people-to-people ties between the two countries.

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