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Hundreds protest against former Japanese PM’s state funeral

Tokyo protestors are demanding that the state funeral of Shinzo Abe, former Japanese prime minister, be cancelled.

was the country’s longest-serving leader, and he was fatally shot in July at an outdoor campaign held in Nara.

Protesters called Mr Abe’s policies pro-war because of his constant efforts to increase defence spending and his close ties with the controversial Unification Church (which critics call a “cult”.

Protesters want it cancelled. The state funeral will be held next Tuesday.

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Yoshiko Kamata was a part-time worker in a convenience store and said that the protest was a great opportunity to show Mr Abe that he never stood with ordinary people.

She stated that Abe is not going to be forgiven just because he’s dead.

Nationally, protests and marches against the state funeral are popping up.

More information about Japan

Japanese media reported that anger rose when a man in his 70s set fire to himself near the residence of the prime minister in apparent protest against the state funeral. He was conscious when he was taken to the hospital.

Image: Protests at Kyoto. Pic: Kyodo/AP

A recent poll conducted by Mainichi newspaper found that 62% of respondents opposed the holding of a state funeral.

The opposition to the state funeral is also tied to Mr Abe, as well as the ties between legislators in the party he headed, the Liberal Democratic Party, or the Unification Church.

According to police, Tetsuya Yamagami (the former prime minister) was accused of killing him. He blamed Mr Abe in social media posts prior to the murder for his support of the group.

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Moment Shinzo Ae shot on stage


State funerals are frequently for emperors

State funerals in Japan were historically reserved for the Emperor.

Official funeral costs are approximately 1.7 billion yen (PS11m), however experts point out that there may be hidden costs like security.

The cabinet made the decision to have one for the former prime minster. It did not receive parliamentary approval. It has been challenged by some lawyers’ groups.

Nationalists and those on the right loved Mr Abe for his defense and pro-market policies. However, many people who want to preserve the country’s pacifist constitution hate him.

On 12 July, a private funeral was held for Mr Abe. Next Tuesday, approximately 6,000 people are expected to attend the state funeral.

Yamagami is said to be undergoing a psychological examination.

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