Aug. 15 (BP) — Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to attend the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to reports on Monday.
Plans are underway to have Harris attend the funeral on Sept. 27 at Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall, the Japan Times, Asahi Shimbun and Nikkei Asia reported. No information has been released by the White House on the trip.
Harris will be the highest-ranking U.S. official to attend the funeral, her first trip to the key U.S. ally since becoming vice president. She is expected to meet with current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as part of her itinerary.
Former President Barack Obama has been mentioned as a possible attendee as well, sources said.
Other figures expected to attend include French President Emmanuel Macron and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister in history, died July 8 at the Kintetsu Railway in western Japan’s Nara when he was shot in the back with what authorities have described as a homemade gun.
A private funeral was held for family and friends on July 12 at Zojoji Temple from where a hearse transported Abe’s body through Tokyo’s political center of Nagatacho.
Authorities last month started a psychiatric evaluation of Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, the suspect in the case. Physicians are evaluating his life history and checking for the presence of mental disorders.
Yamagami had told police that he held a grudge against Abe for what he believed to be support for a religious organization. The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, formerly known as the Unification Church, has confirmed Yamagami’s mother is a member.