20,000 police officers in Tokyo as foreign guests arrive for Abe’s funeral

Tokyo, Sep 26 (EFE).- Some 20,000 security officers will be deployed in Tokyo on Tuesday for the controversial state funeral of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister.

The public broadcaster NHK reported that the authorities have made tight security arrangements as hundreds of foreign dignitaries are arriving in Japan to attend the funeral.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police have stepped up inspections and security in the capital and are on high alert, especially around the venue at Tokyo’s iconic Nippon Budokan stadium.

Police patrols have intensified at Haneda International Airport and Tokyo Station.

Several roads and sidewalks were closed from Monday until Wednesday for exclusive use by the guests invited to the event, Tokyo Police said.

Government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters that police had reviewed and strengthened security systems.

Representatives from at least 217 countries, territories, and international organizations have confirmed their participation at the state funeral.

These include US Vice President Kamala Harris, European Council President Charles Michel, and Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero.

The $11.4 million-state funeral has divided the nation and sparked a controversy.

Surveys suggest more than half of the Japanese population is against holding the event.

Abe’s will be the second such funeral in postwar Japan after Shigeru Yoshida’s in 1967.

Abe’s family held a private funeral at Tokyo’s Zojoji Buddhist temple in July that brought together thousands, including members of his party, the opposition, and diplomats.

Abe died after he was shot at a political campaign event while giving a speech in the city of Nara on July 8. EFE


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