Emperor, Empress ‘deeply saddened’

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Flowers from the Emperor and Empress are seen at the wake of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Zojoji temple in Minato Ward, Tokyo, on Monday.

The Emperor and Empress were represented at former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wake and funeral by a chamberlain, according to an announcement on Monday by the Imperial Household Agency.

The Imperial couple conveyed an offering of money and flowers through the envoy, who also burned incense on their behalf at Zojoji temple in Minato Ward, Tokyo.

“The Emperor and the Empress are deeply saddened” by the tragic news of Abe’s sudden death, said Kenji Ikeda of the Imperial Household Agency. “Their thoughts are with his bereaved family.”

The Emperor Emeritus and the Empress Emerita also expressed their condolences, Ikeda said.

When Abe was prime minister, he worked hard to enact a special law to realize the abdication of the now Emperor Emeritus. When the enthronement ceremony for the current Emperor was held in October 2019, Abe gave a congratulatory address and led three banzai cheers as the representative of the public.

“I sincerely express my gratitude for his efforts to ensure a smooth Imperial succession. I will pray for the repose of his soul,” Ikeda said.