India Abroad

As Shinzo Abe Wins Snap Elections In Japan, PM Modi Congratulates His 'Dear Friend'

| October 23 , 2017 , 10:32 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday congratulated Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and junior partner Komeito Party won two-thirds 'super majority' in Japan's lower house elections on Sunday.

"Heartiest greetings to my dear friend Shinzo Abe on his big election win. Look forward to further strengthen India-Japan relations with him," Modi tweeted.

PM Modi and Japan PM Shinzo Abe have shared cordial relations and conducted 4 summits since Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, and met last month when PM Abe was in India to lay the foundation stone for the bullet train project being made with Japan's aid.

"I want to accept this victory with humility," Abe said to media on Sunday.

"My immediate task is to deal with North Korea," CNN quoted Abe as saying.

"It will take tough diplomacy. With the mandate given by the people, I would like to exercise my command in diplomacy," said Abe.

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"The voters gave us, the ruling party, a majority. This is the voice of the Japanese people, telling us to push our policies forward and come out with results," he said.

Abe added that he expects "discussions on revising the constitution to deepen" in the parliament.

With Typhoon Lan approaching Japan at the same time as the scheduled snap general elections, the voter turnout was expected to be lower than usual.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had called for fresh polls last month, dissolving the lower house of parliament to renew his mandate to deal with the 'national crisis' of nuclear tensions with North Korea.

After reportedly testing a thermonuclear hydrogen bomb in early September, North Korea has sent two missiles over Japan, ignoring sanctions placed by the international community. Soon afterward, US bombers, accompanied by Japanese fighter jets flew near North Korea's coastline, resulting in threats from Pyongyang to shoot down any bombers even close to its coast.