International (Diplomat Times) 27,August 2022
- Japan will give its slain former leader a state funeral.
- The funeral will cost$1.83 million.
- Funeral would be paid for solely with state funds.
JAPAN:(International Desk) Japan will spend $1.83 million on a state funeral for slain former leader Shinzo Abe, the government said on Friday, despite growing opposition from a public angered by revelations of the ruling party’s ties to the Unification Church.
The government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, an Abe protege, decided the state funeral would be paid for solely with state funds.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving but divisive premier, was shot and killed at an election rally on July 8, and although funeral services were held soon after, Japan has decided to hold a state funeral at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan arena on Sept. 27.
But opinion polls show persistent opposition to the idea. In the latest, published on Sunday, 53% of respondents were against a state funeral.
“Abe was highly regarded both within Japan and internationally, and there have been many messages of condolence (since his death),” chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference.
“We believe it is necessary for Japan as a country to respond to that as international etiquette, and so we decided that it is best to conduct this funeral as an official event hosted by the government and have international visitors attend,” he said.
Japan’s last fully state-funded funeral for a prime minister was for Shigeru Yoshida in 1967. Subsequent ones have been paid for by both the state and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), of which Abe was an influential member.