State funeral for assassinated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July, will receive a state funeral on Tuesday. For this purpose, 4300 guests gathered in the sports arena Nippon Budokan, including the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wopke Hoekstra.
Shinzo Abe lived to be 67 years old. He was cremated shortly after his death, and there was already a Buddhist ceremony. His widow Akie carried the urn containing Abe’s ashes into the arena on Tuesday while gun salutes rang out.
A state funeral is organized almost exclusively for members of the Imperial family. It rarely happens that this is done for a politician. At least 20,000 police officers are on the scene for Tuesday’s ceremony.
Abe was the country’s longest-reigning prime minister and was regarded as a great statesman who gave Japan stability and international prestige. He was also embroiled in scandals in Japan, and many Japanese considered the ceremony too much honour and a waste of money, according to some Japanese media.
The arrested murderer has stated that he acted in revenge because Abe was allegedly associated with a cult that ruined his mother.