Japan’s Shinzo Abe Laid to Rest In Controversial State Funeral

-O. Adejo

Shinzo Abe, Japan’s slain Prime Minister, was laid to rest on Tuesday in Tokyo. Over 4,300 individuals, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Antony Albanese, Japan’s Crown Prince Akishino, and US Vice President Kamala Harris, attended the burial.

According to Aljazeera, the funeral began at 2 p.m. (5 a.m. GMT) with the Japanese self-defence forces firing 19 rounds in honour of the country’s longest-serving Prime Minister. Following this, his wife, Akie Abe, took his ashes into Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan auditorium.

Those in attendance conducted a minute of silence for Abe, while hundreds of civilian mourners queued outside to lay flowers in his honour.

The funeral, however, has triggered demonstrations in several sections of Tokyo. This is primarily because the state funeral is expected to cost $11.5 billion. The majority of citizens expressed their dissatisfaction with the expensive cost of the burial.

Abe’s funeral was the country’s first state funeral since 1967. On July 8, Abe was assassinated while giving a campaign address in Nara, in Western Japan. Tetsuya Yamagami, his assassin, blamed him for his connections with the Unification Church in Japan, which he claimed was responsible for bankrupting and ruining his family.

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