Shinzo Abe: Why Japan’s former PM’s state funeral is so controversial – BBC News

  • Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
  • BBC correspondent from Tokyo

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image source,Reuters

image caption,

Abe’s reshaping of Japan’s foreign policy has brought him supporters and opponents.

A week ago, world leaders went to London to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, and now dignitaries are heading to the other side of the world to attend the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In Japan, the 1.65 billion yen ($11.4 million) state funeral has sparked a backlash in public opinion, with multiple polls showing that more than half of Japanese oppose the state funeral. Last week, tens of thousands of people demonstrated on the streets of the capital Tokyo, and a man set himself on fire near the office of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, demanding that the state funeral be cancelled.

But on the other hand, the state funeral has also attracted Japan’s allies around the world. US President Biden will not attend, but Vice President Kamala Harris will. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and their three predecessors will also be in attendance. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not attend the Queen’s funeral but will fly to Tokyo to pay tribute to Shinzo Abe.

Second post-war prime minister to receive state funeral

World leaders gathered to attend the state funeral, but Japan is full of opposition. What is the reason behind it?

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