Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida lauds Abe at state funeral

The Yomiuri Shuimbun
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife Akie, center, holds Abe’s remains as she arrives at the venue for the state funeral at the Nippon Budokan hall in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delivered a speech, citing former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s achievements during the state funeral held at Nippon Budokan hall in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Tuesday. Among the achievements Kishida cited were the enactment of security legislation permitting limited exercise of the right for collective self-defense, and advocating the “free and open Indo-Pacific” initiative.

Kishida praised Abe for “putting in more effort than anyone in the world to maintain and promote the international order.” Noting that Abe was the longest-serving prime minister under Japan’s current Constitution, Kishida said, “History will remember you more for what you have accomplished than for the length [of your administration].”

He also spoke about Abe’s work on the issue of the abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea. “I will do my utmost to carry on your legacy and ensure that the abductees can return home,” the prime minister said.

“On the foundation you’ve laid, I pledge to build a sustainable, inclusive Japan, region and world, where all people can shine.”

Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga spoke as a representative of Abe’s friends, saying, “You were a true leader for Japan.” Suga recalled rushing to Nara when Abe was shot there in July, saying, “I just wanted to see you, be in the same space and breath the same air.”

Citing the passage of the law on the protection of specially designated secrets and security legislation as examples, he said: “Without any one of these, the security of our country will not be solid. We offer our eternal gratitude for your conviction and determination.”

Large-scale traffic restrictions were in place in central Tokyo, with heavy security around the venue.