Human Interest

Japan plans September date for Abe’s state funeral

Tokyo, Jul 20 (EFE).- A state funeral for former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is being planned for Sep. 27 at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan arena, local media reported Wednesday, citing government sources.

The government, which is finalizing the details of the event, had already recently announced its intention to hold the funeral in the autumn, following the wishes of Abe’s family and taking into account the diplomatic schedule, officials said in statements reported by public broadcaster NHK, which on Wednesday disclosed the date.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday that a state funeral would be held for reasons including Abe’s domestic affairs and diplomacy achievements, as well as the wide-ranging condolences received, and that the government would like to be well prepared, which included tightened security.

The Cabinet is expected to sign off on the plan this week at the earliest, according to Kyodo news.

It will be the second funeral of its kind in post-war Japan after the 1967 service for Shigeru Yoshida, who governed in a first legislature of one year (1946-1947) and later in a relatively stable period of more than six years (1948-1954) in a country characterized by frequent changes of government.

Abe’s family held a private funeral at Tokyo’s Zojoji Buddhist temple early last week that drew members of his party, the opposition and diplomats, as well as thousands of members of the public to the area.

The former leader died on July 8 at the age of 67 after being shot while giving a stump speech in the city of Nara while campaigning ahead of the July 10 parliamentary elections.

Abe is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Japan. EFE


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