Govt to hold state funeral for Shinzo Abe in autumn

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A person prays for late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Liberal Democratic Party’s headquarters in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Tuesday.

The government has decided to hold a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in autumn, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced at a press conference Thursday.

The last time a state funeral was held for a former prime minister was in 1967 for Shigeru Yoshida.

“A state funeral will be held to mourn the passing of former Prime Minister Abe. At the same time we will show our determination that our nation will not yield to violence and will resolutely defend democracy,” Kishida said.

On Tuesday, family members and people close to the former prime minister attended a private funeral at Zojoji temple in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

Many members of the public gathered around the temple to pay their final respects to Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, who was in office for a record total of 3,188 days.

Abe was shot dead on July 8 while delivering a campaign speech in Nara City for a candidate ahead of last Sunday’s upper house election.

“A barbaric act was committed in the midst of an election, the foundation of democracy. There have been a huge number of condolence messages from home and abroad,” Kishida said.