Advertisement

Japan holds state funeral for Shinzo Abe in shadow of protesters

1/5
People offer flowers at the memorial outside Nippon Budokan during the state funeral of Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Tuesday. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/a0f018492e40d9bbb85e74ed47b6b1c6/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
People offer flowers at the memorial outside Nippon Budokan during the state funeral of Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Tuesday. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Several world leaders gathered in Japan for the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and protesters demonstrated a short distance away.

Vice President Kamala Harris led a delegation from the United States who attended the funeral at Nippon Budokan Hall.

Advertisement

Officials said that more than 4,000 attended the ceremony. They were joined by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, his predecessor, and Abe's successor, Yoshihide Suga, and Taro Aso, vice president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

"I will be forever proud of myself for having been able to focus on expanding the horizon of Japan's diplomacy, as foreign minister in your Cabinet, and as your sworn friend who lived through the same era," Kishida said of Abe.

Along with mourners eulogizing Abe, a short video created by the government was played showing Abe's past achievements. These include being the youngest prime minister in 2006, visiting disaster-stricken areas 43 times during his tenure and overseeing the abdication of then-Emperor Akihito.

Outside, about 1,000 people took part in protests in Hibiya Park in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward.

Advertisement

"As the money of us taxpayers is being spent [on the state funeral], it effectively forces us to mourn" for Abe, Japanese author Keiko Ochiai told the crowd.

Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, had been retired for almost two years after a bout with health problems when he was shot dead in July at a train station while making a campaign speech for another candidate.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement