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April 23, 2024
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International

Japan Bids Farewell To Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Tawqeer Hussain

Japan on Tuesday bids farewell to its longest serving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was assassinated on July 8 in the Nara Prefecture while campaigning for an election.

Japan Times reports that, more than 4300 attendees gathered in Tokyo to pay their last respects to the most famous leader of Japan.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo were among about 700 foreign dignitaries from 218 countries, regions and international organizations who attended the funeral.

Members of the general public joined a queue stretching for kilometers to lay flowers at a nearby park, while rallies protesting the controversial state funeral were also held in Tokyo and elsewhere.

The funeral was held at the Nippon Budokan. About 20,000 police officers were mobilized to ensure security in the capital. Highways in Tokyo along with streets near the venue were shut for security reasons, causing congestion.

A procession carrying Abe’s remains passed by the Defense Ministry, before arriving at the Nippon Budokan in Chiyoda Ward. Abe’s wife, Akie, dressed in a black kimono, carried his remains inside the venue as Self-Defense Forces artillery fired 19 blank shots in line with tradition as part of the funeral salute.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who became a lawmaker the same year as Abe, and his predecessor, Yoshihide Suga, who served as chief Cabinet secretary under Abe for nearly eight years, offered eulogies.

(With inputs from media reports)

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