Cabinet sets plan for state funeral for Abe

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 July 12.

The government officially decided at a Cabinet meeting Friday to hold a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sept. 27 at the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo.

It deemed that a state-funded funeral for Abe was appropriate in consideration of his leading modern Japan’s longest-lasting administration in addition to his achievements in both domestic and foreign affairs and the fact that he was gunned down amid an election campaign.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will officiate at the ceremony.

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

“The funeral will be held in a simple and solemn manner, taking no religious form,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference after the Cabinet meeting.

The expenses will be covered entirely by the national budget. An office was set up within the Cabinet Office for preparations.

The prewar state funeral ordinance, which served as the legal basis for state funerals until it expired in 1947, stated that “the people shall mourn.” However, a state funeral based on a Cabinet decision is positioned differently, and the government said it would not force the people to mourn and also does not intend to make the day — a Tuesday — a holiday for schools and government offices.