People Offer Floral Tributes to Abe Ahead of State Funeral

Mourners pay their respects at the altar outside Nippon Budokan Hall, which will host a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in Tokyo, Japan September 27, 2022.

Tokyo, Sept. 27 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government started accepting floral tributes at a Tokyo park Tuesday morning from members of the general public mourning the death of Shinzo Abe, ahead of a state funeral for the late former Japanese prime minister later in the day.

The park near the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, where the funeral will be held from 2 p.m. (5 a.m. GMT), was filled with people offering flowers and saying their last farewell to Abe. Such people waited in a long line that extended over 500 meters as of 9 a.m.

The hall and surrounding areas have been under heavy security since the early morning, with up to 20,000 members of the police being mobilized. Traffic restrictions have also been introduced on roads around the area since 9 a.m.

Abe was shot to death while delivering a stump speech in the western Japan city of Nara on July 8.

It will be the first time in 55 years for Japan to hold a state funeral for a former prime minister since holding one for Shigeru Yoshida in 1967.

Current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he decided to hold a state funeral for Abe as the former prime minister holds the record as the longest-serving prime minister in Japan’s history of constitutional government and many foreign dignitaries expressed their condolences for his passing.