Japan: The final farewell to Shinzo Abe


Crowds of people flooded the sidewalks and a heavy police presence was deployed as the hearse carrying the former prime minister’s body approached from a temple in central Tokyo.

With prayers, flowers and flags, Japan said goodbye to him today Shinzo Abea polarizing figure who dominated the country’s political life and was the longest-serving prime minister and he fell dead at the age of 67 from gun bullets last Friday.

Crowds of citizens had flooded the sidewalks, while a heavy police presence had been deployed as the hearse carrying the body of the former prime minister approached from a temple in the central Tokyo.

Helicopters hovered over the site of the ceremony, which was broadcast live on NHK television.

Some bowed their heads in respect, others prayed, clapped or saluted.

“Thank you very much for your work for our country!”repeatedly shouted one of the assembled citizens.

Hundreds of people flooded the church where a memorial service was held on Monday afternoon and this morning, before the private ceremony, to pay their respects.

The slaying of Abe by an unemployed 41-year-old man with a homemade gun shocked a country where both gun and political violence are rare.

The funeral procession passed through the political center of the capital, the district Nagatatsuwhere hundreds of citizens had lined up outside the Parliament building, where Abe had entered as a young lawmaker in 1993 after the death of his father, who was also a politician.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida with a group of government ministers waited patiently in front of the building.

As the hearse slowly passed, Kishida bowed his head, holding a wrapped Buddhist prayer rosary in his hand. Abe’s widow, Akie, also bowed her head from her passenger seat in the hearse.


Since early this morning long queues of people dressed in black along with others in plain clothes and backpacks have been waiting outside Zojoji Temple.

58-year-old teacher Keiko Noumi went to lay flowers on the large photo frame of Abe that had been placed inside the temple grounds.

“There was a sense of security when he was prime minister and in charge of the country. I did support him, so this is very unpleasant,” he says.

“I can’t get over my grief, so I came here to lay flowers and pray,” 41-year-old councilor Tsukasa Yokawa told AFP, describing Abe as “a great prime minister who did a lot to improve Japan’s presence” in the world. scene.

“It’s unacceptable,” said Yuko Takehisa, 51, a nurse’s aide who lives in Kanagawa, near Tokyo.

“More could have been done to prevent this,” he comments, noting that “nobody reported” the killer to the police despite allegations that he had tested a makeshift weapon before the attack.

Others were queuing outside the headquarters of the Liberal Democratic Party to leave something at the makeshift shrine that will be there until Friday. Party officials had come out of the offices to offer iced tea to citizens standing there in the heat.

Tributes have been paid by many foreign leaders with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken making a brief stop on his way to the US from Southeast Asia yesterday morning to offer his condolences.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Taiwan’s Vice President William Lai were also there as family friends.

About 2,000 messages of condolence have arrived from countries around the world, Kyodo news agency reported.


French leader Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences in a video posted on the French presidency’s official Twitter account after visiting the Japanese embassy in Paris.

“I remember all our meetings and collaborations, especially since my visit to Japan in 2019… I lost a friend,” Macron said.

“He served his country with great courage, with boldness,” he added.

Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old unemployed man, was identified by police as the man who killed Abe during his campaign speech in Nara on Friday.

Yamagami believed the former prime minister was promoting a religious group to which his mother had made a “huge donation”. The perpetrator himself told the police that his mother went bankrupt because of this donation.

Satoshi Ninoyu, the head of the National Public Security Commission, said at a press conference today that he has requested the formation of a team to investigate the security situation surrounding Abe’s assassination.

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