World Japan says state funeral for assassinated former Prime Minister...

Japan says state funeral for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will cost $12 million

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Sept. 6 (BP) — The state funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July, will cost more than $10 million when its held later this month, according to a government estimate Tuesday.

Abe was campaigning for another political candidate at a train station in Nara on July 8 when he was shot at close range by the assailant. The shooting and the aftermath were captured on video. Nara is about 235 miles southwest of Tokyo.

Abe’s state funeral is scheduled for Sept. 27 and the Japanese government said Tuesday that it will cost about $12 million. The government had authorized $1.7 million for the funeral late last month, but that amount didn’t account for security measures and other logistical expenses required for a state funeral.

About 6,000 people are expected to attend the requiem for Abe during the funeral at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo. Thousands of people turned out to pay tribute to Abe during a private funeral in mid-July.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had called for the state funeral to honor Abe after he was killed and his cabinet later approved that plan.

Chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno initially tried to keep the cost private due to uncertainty about the number of foreign dignitaries who would attend. But he faced increased public pressure in recent days to disclose the figure.

The idea of spending $12 million on Abe’s funeral has increasingly soured with the public, with opinion polls showing the majority of Japanese citizens firmly opposing the plan. Some opponents say the government lacks solid legal standing to hold a state funeral and have called for the ceremony to be canceled outright.

Matsuno noted, however, that a state funeral was held for former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone after he died in 2020.

Much of the funding is needed to pay for security and accommodations for foreign visitors. An honor guard is also part of the projected cost.

“It became possible to provide certain estimates based on the outcome of our talks with diplomatic missions of other countries, in addition to our policy of offering detailed explanations about the event,” he said according to the Asahi Shimbun.

An official with the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan said an upcoming hearing on the funeral would take a closer look at whether enough dollars had allocated for security.

“We will ask for more detailed figures ahead of a scheduled meeting with Kishida while the Diet is in recess since the basis for the government calculations is ambiguous,” Jun Azumi said according to the Asahi Shimbun.

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