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Flags fly at half-mast for Abe

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The national flag at the Prime Minister’s Office is flown at half-mast Monday for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was fatally shot on Friday.

The national flag at the Prime Minister’s Office was flown at half-mast Monday following the death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The flags were flown at half-mast at government facilities including the Foreign Ministry, but this lagged behind governments overseas.

In the United States, President Joe Biden ordered on Friday U.S. flags to be flown at half-mast at federal facilities until sunset Sunday in recognition of Abe’s contributions to deepening the Japan-U.S. alliance. Flags were also flown at half-mast across India on Saturday.

Japan has previously hoisted the national flag at half-mast when an incumbent prime minister passes away.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters Monday, “In view of the people’s feelings of sorrow, we decided to fly the flag at half-mast today [Monday] and tomorrow [Tuesday] just as when an incumbent prime minister passes away.”

Matsuno also said Abe “passed away on the evening of July 8 [Friday], so we decided to respond the next business day, which is today.”