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How an Indian, married into Japan's first family, is changing the India, Japan and the US trilateral


It’s a famous last name in Japan and by extension in India. Kalpana Abe wears it lightly as she does her formidable list of accomplishments. From being a cardiovascular surgeon to travelling the world introducing mosquito-resistant paint to poor communities to prevent malaria, to being a Formula One racer to promoting sustainable development — the lady doth wear many hats comfortably.


Kalpana is getting ready to help take the India-Japan Global Partnership (IJGP) to Africa and present an alternative model of development that doesn’t “exploit but empowers” the people. Her connections, her access and, above all, her savvy will come in handy as India and Japan get down to real work in the coming years to strengthen their partnership and spread in and out of Asia.


She is married to Isao Abe, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cousin. She is not comfortable talking about her last name or boasting of her proximity to Japan’s first family. If anything, she actively downplays it — perhaps a Japanese trait she has picked up because it isn’t Indian for sure. With great difficulty she admits Shinzo Abe sometimes picks up the phone to call her to get insights into what the young people are thinking because she has three kids. He calls her Pana — short for Kalpana.


Read more at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/how-an-indian-married-into-japans-first-family-is-changing-the-india-japan-and-the-us-trilateral/articleshow/61705621.cms

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