State funeral for slain ex-PM Abe to be held Sept. 27 at Nippon Budokan arena

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Nippon Budokan arena in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

The government is in the final stage of coordinating the state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo on Sept. 27, government sources revealed Wednesday.

The Cabinet will make an official decision regarding the state funeral on Friday at the earliest.

Although Sept. 27 is a Tuesday, the government does not intend to make the day a holiday for schools and government offices.

The last time a state funeral was held for a former prime minister was in 1967 for Shigeru Yoshida. It will be only the second state funeral since the end of World War II.

The cost of the state funeral will be covered by government funds.

At a press conference on July 14, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that a state funeral would be held in the autumn in recognition of Abe’s achievements both in domestic politics and diplomacy. Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister.

The government took into account various considerations in deciding upon holding the state funeral by the end of September.

Many dignitaries from abroad are expected to attend the event, including government heads.

“Based on lessons learned from [the shooting of Abe], I shall reexamine and further enhance security,” Kishida said at an executive members’ meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday. “I want to firmly make preparations as it is expected that various diplomatic activities will coincide with the condolence visits.”