Indian PM Modi attends state funeral of Shinzo Abe along with 50 world leaders

Japan has imposed tight security measures in the capital city Tokyo as over 20 heads of state and heads of government will be in attendance


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Published: Tue 27 Sep 2022, 11:36 AM

The state funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe commenced on Tuesday in Tokyo, and several world leaders were in attendance, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US Vice President Kamala Harris.

With tight security in place, a car carrying Abe's cremated remains arrived at the venue from his family home, for a ceremony that is the first of its kind for a former premier in decades, Japan's Kyodo News agency reported.

There is controversy in Japan over the funeral, which is set to cost taxpayers over $11 million, the report said.

Abe's widow Akie carried his ashes into the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo where thousands of mourners were gathered.

Japan has imposed tight security measures in the capital city Tokyo as representatives from hundreds of countries, including over 20 heads of state and heads of government, are participating in the state funeral.

Prime Minister Modi met Japanese PM Fumio Kishida prior to the state funeral, whom he describes as the champion of India-Japan ties and a dear friend.

Abe was assassinated in July this year while he was delivering a public address, despite the presence of police, in the city of Nara.

His funeral is the second state funeral for a former prime minister since World War II; the first was held in 1967 for Shigeru Yoshida. Other deceased prime ministers received a joint Cabinet Office and Liberal Democratic Party service.

The ceremony is also the first major public event since new police security guidelines were implemented, including sniffer dogs at train stations and police patrols at Tokyo-area airports following Abe's assassination.

The service will likely last for approximately one-and-a-half hours after which the national anthem of the country will be played. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will deliver a commemorative speech followed by addresses from other high-level delegates.

Japan's royal family will also pay tributes to Abe – however, maintaining the line of tradition, Emperor Naruhito will not be attending the funeral, and imperial envoys will pay their respects.

The funeral ceremony will conclude with the sending off of Abe's remains and the placement of remembrance wreaths.


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