Japan bids farewell to longest-serving prime minister following assassination

Japan bids farewell to longest-serving prime minister following assassination

TOKYO – With prayers, flowers and flags draped in black ribbons, Japan on Tuesday stated farewell to Shinzo Abe, a polarizing determine who dominated politics because the nation’s longest-serving premier, earlier than being gunned down at a marketing campaign rally final week.

Crowds packed pavements lined with a heavy police presence because the hearse carrying Abe departed from a central Tokyo temple in early afternoon. Folks shouted, clapped and waved because it handed, with some holding flowers.

A whole bunch filed into the temple on Monday night and Tuesday morning to pay their respects to Abe, who died aged 67. His killing on Friday by an unemployed man wielding a do-it-yourself gun shocked a nation the place each gun crime and political violence are extraordinarily uncommon.

The funeral ceremony, restricted to household and shut mates, was closed to the media. Abe’s widow, Akie, was chief mourner.

The funeral procession was set to cross by way of Tokyo, taking within the capital’s political coronary heart of Nagatacho and landmarks such because the parliament constructing Abe first entered as a younger lawmaker in 1993, after the dying of his politician father, and the workplace from which he led the nation in two stints as prime minister, the longer from 2012 to 2020.

Folks wait in line to attend the funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Zojoji temple in Tokyo, Japan on July 12, 2022.Getty Pictures

Folks collect to supply flowers on the funeral of late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Japan on July 12, 2022.REUTERS

From early morning, lengthy strains of individuals wearing black, blended with others in casual clothes with backpacks, fashioned exterior the temple.

Keiko Noumi, a 58-year-old trainer, was certainly one of many who got here to supply prayers and flowers to a big {photograph} of Abe arrange contained in the temple grounds displaying him in a easy white shirt, laughing along with his arms on his hips

“There was a way of safety when he was the prime minister in command of the nation,” she stated. “I actually supported him, so that is very unlucky.”

Others queued in entrance of ruling Liberal Democratic Celebration (LDP) headquarters to make choices at a makeshift shrine that shall be in place till Friday. Celebration staffers come out to supply chilly barley tea to mourners sweating within the sultry air.

Akie Abe, spouse of late former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, sits in a hearse because it leaves Zojoji Temple in Tokyo on July 12, 2022.AFP through Getty Pictures

Lawmakers pray in the direction of the car carrying the physique of Shinzo Abe in entrance of Japan’s Nationwide Weight loss plan Constructing after the funeral in Tokyo, Japan on July 12, 2022. REUTERS

Tributes have poured in from worldwide leaders, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken making a quick cease en path to america from Southeast Asia on Monday morning to pay his respects. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Taiwan Vice President William Lai, on a personal go to as a household pal, additionally joined mourners.

Practically 2,000 condolence messages arrived from nations world wide, Kyodo information company stated.

‘GREAT COURAGE, AUDACITY’

French chief Emmanuel Macron despatched his condolences in footage posted on the nation’s official presidential Twitter account after he visited the Japanese embassy in Paris.

“I keep in mind all our conferences and work collectively, particularly throughout my go to (to Japan) in 2019 … I’ve misplaced a pal,” stated a solemn Macron.

“He served his nation with nice braveness, and audacity.”

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was gunned down throughout a marketing campaign rally on July 6, 2022.YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP through Getty Pictures

The suspected killer, arrested on the scene and recognized by police as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, believed Abe had promoted a spiritual group to which his mom made a “large donation,” Kyodo information company has stated, citing investigators.

The Unification Church, recognized for its mass weddings and devoted following, stated on Monday the suspect’s mom was certainly one of its members. Reuters couldn’t decide whether or not the mom belonged to every other non secular organizations. 

Yamagami shot Abe from behind, unloading two pictures from a 16-inch improvised weapon wrapped with black tape.

Chief cupboard secretary Hirokazu Matsuno advised a information convention on Tuesday that the Japanese authorities will take into account whether or not there’s a have to additional regulate handmade weapons.

“We’re conscious that present laws strictly limit firearms, whether or not handmade or not,” he stated.

Satoshi Ninoyu, head of the Nationwide Public Security Fee, advised a Tuesday information convention he had directed {that a} crew be established to analyze the safety state of affairs round Abe’s assassination.

“We take this incident extraordinarily severely,” he was quoted by the Nikkei Shimbun as saying.

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