Japan said goodbye to Shinzo Abe last week, its longest-serving prime Minister. He was killed at a rally.
To pay respects to the man who has dominated Japanese politics for many decades, long lines formed outside Tokyo’s Zojoji temple.
A 67-year old man with a homemade gun as his weapon of choice was used to assassinate him during a campaign speech. This shocked a country where both gun crime as well as political violence are rare.
Keiko Noumi (58 years old teacher) was among those who visited the temple to offer prayers and flowers. A large photo of Abe was set up in the temple grounds. It showed him wearing a simple white shirt, with his hands on his hips, laughing.
She said that there was a feeling of security when he was prime minister and in charge of the country. “I supported him so this is very unfortunate.”
The ceremony was only open to close family members and friends.
International leaders have left their tributes, with Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, making a short stop in the midst.
Route to the United States on Monday morning from Southeast Asia to pay his respects.
After visiting the Japanese embassy in Paris, the French leader Emmanuel Macron posted footage on Twitter to express his condolences.
“I will always remember our meetings and the work we did together, especially when I visited Japan in 2019. “I’ve lost a friend,” he said.
a solemn Mr Macron.
“He served his country with great courage and audacity.”
Police arrested the suspect killer at the scene. He was identified as Tetsuya Yamagami (41 years old). The suspect believed that Mr Abe had supported a religious group which his mother had made a large donation, Kyodo news agency reported, citing investigators.
The Unification Church is well-known for its mass marriages and dedicated following. On Monday, the church confirmed that the suspect’s mother was a member of its congregation.
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Yamagami fired on Mr Abe’s back using a 40cm (16in), improvised weapon wrapped in black tape.
Hirokazu Matsuno, chief cabinet secretary, stated at a news conference the government would examine whether it is necessary to regulate hand-made guns.
He stated, “We are conscious that current regulations strictly limit firearms, regardless of whether they are handmade or not.”