New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for Japan today evening to attend the state funeral of ex-Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe who was assassinated on July 8 during an election campaign in Nara city. PM Modi will also make a courtesy call to Abe’s wife Akie Abe to offer condolences, as per ABP News sources.
A private funeral for Abe was held on July 12, four days after he was shot dead. But for the public commemoration 6,000 guests are scheduled to gather at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan Hall which will include 190 foreign delegates.
About 50 heads of state or government are expected including Australian PM Anthony Albanese and US Vice President Kamala Haris and media reports say Kishida may meet with around 30 of these, reported news agency Reuters.
During PM Modi’s Japan visit, he is also slated to hold a bilateral meeting with other leaders including PM Fumio Kishida.
Prime Minister Modi will leave Japan on September 27 and is expected to touch down in Delhi after midnight.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Assassination
67-year-old Abe was shot by a man from behind when the former was making a stump speech in the Japanese western city Nara on July 8 morning at 11:30 am after which the unidentified assailant was taken into custody by the Police.
A 41-year-old man, Tetsuya Yamagami was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder for shooting at Abe.
Shinzo Abe has been the longest serving Prime Minister of Japan who stepped down from the post in 2020 citing health reasons. He first took the office in 2006 becoming Japan’s youngest prime minister since World War II. A year later he stepped down citing political scandals, voter outrage at lost pension records, and an election drubbing for his ruling party.
Abe again became the PM in 2012.
Hailing from a wealthy political family, he was elected to Parliament in 1993 after his father’s demise. Abe had risen to fame for adopting a strong stance against North Korea after Japanese citizens were kidnapped by Pyongyang.
Backlash To Shinzo Abe’s State Funeral
While the Japanese government is preparing for Shinzo Abe’s state funeral, the event has become a flashpoint for public anger over a political scandal and has deepened opposition to PM Kishida.
Abe’s assassination in July touched off a series of revelations about ties between lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) he once led and the Unification Church, an organisation critics call a cult, stated the Reuters report.
Kishida attempted to control the damage and had apologised and promised to sever the LDP’s links to the church, which was founded in South Korea in the 1950s and is known for its mass weddings and aggressive fundraising. But the fallout for the party, and his government, has been immense.
Abe’s suspected killer had accused the church of impoverishing his family, reported Reuters as the police said. In social media posts before the killing, he blamed Abe for supporting the group.