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Japan is planning a state funeral for Abe on September 27

#Japan #planning #state #funeral #Abe #September

Japan will hold a state funeral for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on September 27, the government announced on Friday, which will be attended by foreign leaders.

The ceremony will take place at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan, a large venue that has hosted concerts and sporting events and was used for Japan’s last state funeral for a former prime minister in 1967.

Government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said Abe’s record as Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, his “truly commendable” accomplishments and his ties to foreign leaders made a state funeral appropriate.

“We will also host foreign dignitaries and countries with which we have diplomatic relations will be informed of details,” he added.

Abe was gunned down on July 8 while campaigning in the western city of Nara. His accused killer, Tetsuya Yamagami, is in custody and reportedly targeted Abe because he believed the former leader had ties to the Unification Church.

Yamagami’s mother is said to have made large donations to the church, which her son blamed for the family’s financial difficulties.

Shortly after his death, a small private funeral was held for Abe at a Tokyo temple, with thousands of people gathering outside to lay flowers and pay their respects.

September’s ceremony is only the second state funeral for a former prime minister in post-war Japan, after that of Shigeru Yoshida, who led the country after World War II.

Matsuno said the event was “non-denominational, simple and somber,” adding that the cost is still under investigation.

The plan is being pushed back as opposition parties question spending public money on an event for a political leader.

A group of activists have asked a Tokyo court to issue an injunction to stop the funeral, although the government has said it does not view the event as imposing a political position on the public.

Abe was Japan’s best-known politician, maintaining a prominent place in public life even after resigning in 2020 due to ill health.

But he was also a divisive figure who faced accusations of nepotism and criticism for his staunch nationalist views.

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#Japan #planning #state #funeral #Abe #September

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