Japan: Ex-PM Abe's state funeral to cost over $12 million, new estimate shows

Nearly 6,000 guests — including foreign dignitaries — are expected to attend the ceremony



Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Tue 6 Sep 2022, 7:27 AM

Japan will spend about 1.65 billion yen ($12 million) on the state funeral planned for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to the government's new estimate on Tuesday, that includes security and reception costs.

In late August, the government had approved a more modest budget of 250 million yen for the funeral, but then faced criticism for what was deemed an unrealistic figure that excluded hefty outlays for the security and the hosting of VIPs.

Nearly 6,000 guests — including foreign dignitaries — are expected to attend the ceremony, which will be held on September 27 at Tokyo's Nippon Budokan hall. Abe was shot to death during an election rally in July.

Opposition to a taxpayer-funded service for Abe — Japan's longest-serving but deeply-divisive premier — has persisted, exacerbated by revelations of his (and other ruling party members') links to the controversial Unification Church. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's approval ratings have fallen in tandem.

Abe's suspected killer told prosecutors he held a grudge against the religious organisation, known for its mass weddings and aggressive fund-raising tactics, and he believed Abe had connections to the group, local media have reported.

A Yomiuri newspaper poll conducted earlier this month showed 56 per cent of respondents opposing the state funeral, compared with 38 per cent in favour.

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