Japan adds ¥1.4 billion to costs of Abe funeral security, dignitaries

Tokyo, Sep 6 (EFE).- The Japanese government announced Tuesday that it will allocate an additional ¥1.4 billion ($9.96 million) for the security and care of foreign dignitaries attending the state funeral of former president Shinzo Abe on Sep. 27.

Government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference that it had been difficult to calculate the cost of security and care, but it was now known that representatives from some 190 foreign delegations, including 50 heads of state, will attend the funeral so the government has been able to estimate the security deployment.

Of the ¥1.4 billion, ¥800 million will be used to cover the costs of deploying police officers from other prefectures to Tokyo, their overtime and the servicing of vehicles and other equipment, Matsuno added.

The remaining ¥600 million will be used to cover the cost of the necessary logistics to receive and host the foreign dignitaries, including efforts to organize bilateral meetings.

These additional funds for Abe’s state funeral will come entirely from reserve funds under the government’s general budget for the 2022 fiscal year, according to the spokesperson.

A sum of ¥249 million had already been allocated by the government for the funeral ceremony alone.

This initial budget, revealed on Aug. 25, covers the costs of renting the iconic Nippon Budokan indoor arena in Tokyo, as well as for Covid measures and other points of the ceremony.

Abe’s funeral will cost at least ¥1.6 billion, although part of the amount will be allocated to the security of dignitaries throughout their visit and activities, not just during the funeral.

Matsuno said that these figures could vary depending on the foreign representatives who finally travel to the country.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has ordered for the details of the funeral to be disclosed among opposition by a large section of Japanese to a funeral paid for by state funds.

Abe’s will be the second fully state-funded funeral for a prime minister in postwar Japan since Shigeru Yoshida’s in 1967.

Abe’s family already held a private funeral at Tokyo’s Zojoji Buddhist temple in July that drew thousands of residents to the area, as well as members of his party, the opposition and diplomats.

Abe died aged 67 after being shot on July 8 while giving a speech in the city of Nara during an election campaign. EFE


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