Over 1,000 SDF personnel set to participate in Abe’s state funeral

Yomiuri Shimbiun file photo
Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada speaks at a press conference in Minato Ward, Tokyo, on Sept. 8.

More than 1,000 Self-Defense Forces personnel are expected to take part in former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s state funeral on Sept 27, the government has said.

At a press conference Tuesday, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said there will be a gun salute. SDF personnel will fire 19 blank rounds when Abe’s remains arrive at the Nippon Budokan, the venue of the funeral service.

According to Defense Ministry guidelines on gun salutes, 21 rounds are fired for heads of state, presidents and members of the Imperial Family, and 19 for prime ministers, vice presidents and other state guests of honor.

Abe’s state funeral will also have an honor guard and a musical accompaniment by the SDF band.

According to the Defense Ministry, about 1,300 SDF personnel took part in the 2007 funeral for former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa at the Nippon Budokan, which was organized by the Cabinet and Liberal Democratic Party.

The government is expected to use Miyazawa’s funeral as a reference when it finalizes plans on the scale of SDF involvement at Abe’s state funeral.