TOKYO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met three former Japanese prime ministers, Yoshihide Suga, Shinzo Abe, and Yoshiro Mori, on Tuesday while in Tokyo for the Quad summit.
Modi, who enjoys a good rapport with his Ex-Japanese counterparts, has also invited Suga to join this year's Ganeshotsav celebrations in India.
Suga, who was Japan's Prime Minister from September 2020 to September 2021, is a member of the 'Ganesha' group, a group of 15 Liberal Democratic Party members named after the Hindu god Ganesha, who is revered as a remover of obstacles.
Members of this group share three characteristics: they are first-generation legislators, have served four or fewer terms in the Lower House, and are not affiliated with any political party. Among the former Japanese prime ministers, Modi had a particularly close friendship with Shinzo Abe, the country's longest-serving leader, who served from December 2012 to September 2016.
During Abe's December 2015 visit to India, the two leaders held summit talks in New Delhi, followed by a journey to Varanasi, the Indian PM's parliamentary seat, where they performed the Ganga aarti.
When Modi visited Japan in October 2018, Abe returned the favour with a diplomatic charm blitz. Abe had visited Modi to his holiday house on Mount Fuji, the first time he had invited a foreign leader to his private lodge, in addition to holding meetings in Tokyo.