Human Interest

Abe’s funeral begins at Buddhist temple in Tokyo

Tokyo, Jul 12 (EFE).- The funeral service of Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe began on Tuesday at the Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo.

The Buddhist rites at the private ceremony began at 1 pm at the temple, which was closed to the public for the most part, except for an area where visitors were allowed to lay wreaths in front of a photograph of Abe.

Only family members and political figures close to the former leader were expected to attend the funeral, including current prime minister Fumio Kishida, and Toshimitsu Motegi, the secretary-general of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Heavy security was deployed at the temple, where many people gathered again, a day after a large turnout to pay tribute to Abe at his private wake held in Zojoji.

Some 2,500 people, including prominent political figures and from the private sector, as well as foreign dignitaries from several countries, attended the wake.

After the funeral, the hearse carrying Abe’s body will drive past important locations linked to his political career, including the LDP headquarters, the prime minister’s office and the parliament building.

A public tribute to Abe is expected to take place later, although the date and place are yet to be determined.

Top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference on Tuesday that the public tribute will be decided based on previous cases and the wishes of Abe’s family.

Abe died on Friday after being shot by a man with a homemade weapon while giving a stump speech at a campaign event for Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

The alleged shooter was arrested moments later at the site of the incident. EFE


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