Human Interest

Envoys from more than 210 countries, orgs to attend Abe’s funeral

Tokyo, Sep 22 (EFE).- Representatives from at least 217 countries, territories and international organizations have confirmed their attendance at the state funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which will be held next week, the government said Thursday.

The delegations of 116 of the territories and organizations will travel to Japan from abroad for Tuesday’s funeral, while the other 101 will send their representatives from the diplomatic headquarters currently present in the country itself, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said.

Those who have confirmed their attendance at Abe’s state funeral next week include Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; United States Vice President Kamala Harris and European Council President Charles Michel.

Other ministers and high-profile public figures will also travel to Japan for the event, such as former French President Nicolas Sarkozy; or International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

Japan will ask funeral attendees to wear a sanitary mask during the ceremony, government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said at a Thursday press conference.

The request comes after the stir caused in the country by the images of the emperors of Japan, Naruhito and Masako, walking through London and greeting other attendees without a mask during the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II of England.

The use of masks during the Covid-19 pandemic was never mandatory in Japan, but it is common to see people with it on the street and its use is encouraged in areas such as public transport and indoors at a time when the country is fighting its seventh wave of infections. EFE


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