Japan pays its last respects to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a state funeral
6,000 guests were invited to a public ceremony, including 190 foreign delegations.
About 50 heads of state are expected to arrive, including the Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris and the Prime Ministers of Canada, India and Australia.
Tens of thousands of police, including 2,500 outside the capital, were deployed in Tokyo
Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 10:19 am Updated: 10:47 am
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Japan is paying its last respects (Tuesday) to late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July.
The country held a state funeral in honor of the leader, a ceremony that became controversial due to a political scandal and opposition to his successor Fumio Kishida.
Abe's ashes were led into the Budokan hall, and the mamelsha presented a tribute film that cherishes his life and work.
Prime Minister Kishida gave a speech praising Abe's "courage" and his commitment.
The assassination of Abe exposed ties between lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Unification Church, an organization its critics call a cult.
Kishida tried to do damage control, apologized and promised to sever ties with the organization, which was founded in South Korea in the 1950s and is known for its mass weddings and aggressive fundraising.
Abe's killer accused the church of impoverishing his mother, according to police.
He also accused Abe of supporting the group.
A spokesman for the church has since apologized.
The church also promised to respond more effectively to complaints or requests for donation credits.
About 62% of the participants in a survey conducted by the Mainichi newspaper recently said that they were against a state funeral for Abe.
According to them, he does not deserve such a funeral, as well as the high cost of the ceremony.
According to government estimates, the cost of the funeral is about 12 million dollars.
A 70-year-old man set himself on fire on Wednesday near the Prime Minister's residence in protest of the state funeral.
He was taken to the hospital while still alive.
The last state funeral held in Japan was for former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida in 1967.
After that, all funerals were paid for by the state and the LDP party.
A funeral also raises safety challenges.
The roads around the Budokan hall in Tokyo, where the ceremony will be held, will be closed as well as the airspace until Wednesday.
Tens of thousands of police, including 2,500 outside the capital, were deployed in Tokyo, and sniffer dogs were patrolling Haneda Airport and train stations.
A private service for Abe was held on July 12, four days after his death.
6,000 guests have been invited to a public ceremony tomorrow in Tokyo, including 190 foreign delegations.
About 50 heads of state are expected to attend, including the Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris and the Prime Ministers of Canada, India and Australia, as well as three former Australian Prime Ministers, the Prime Minister of Singapore, the President of the European Council, and foreign ministers including the new British Foreign Secretary James Calverley.
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Asia and the Pacific