Man sets self on fire over Abe state funeral

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Police investigate the site where a man set himself on fire in Tokyo on Wednesday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A man set himself on fire near the prime minister’s office in Tokyo Wednesday, in an apparent self-immolation attempt to protest the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Around 6:50 a.m., there was an emergency police call reporting that a man was being engulfed in flames on a street near the prime minister’s office in Chiyoda Ward in the capital.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department’s Kojimachi police station, the man, believed to be in his 70s, was rushed to a hospital for burns over his whole body. He is seen to be conscious.

Notes found near where the man set himself ablaze said that “I am personally staunchly against” the state funeral for Abe, which is slated to be held at the Nippon Budokan hall in the same ward on Tuesday.

The man told police that he poured oil on himself and lit the fire, according to investigative sources. The Kojimachi police station is rushing to identify the man while investigating the incident as an attempted self-immolation.

According to the police, the notes are believed to have been written by the man by hand. Parts of the notes were burned in the flame.

The incident took place on a median strip of a street some 200 meters south of Tokyo Metro Co.’s Kokkai-gijidomae Station, which is just near the building of the Diet and the prime minister’s office.