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The government said Tuesday it will allocate 2.47 billion yen for the current fiscal year for the funeral of the late Empress Dowager and construction of a mausoleum for her.

The decision, made at a Cabinet meeting, came in response to a call by the Imperial Household Agency for a new appropriation to cover the costs.

The agency justified the expenditure, saying the Empress Dowager is a figure of respect who will be mourned by the entire populace.

The Empress Dowager, wife of the late Emperor Showa, died June 16. She was 97.

The budget includes 1.42 billion yen for a mausoleum and 950 million yen for a funeral, scheduled for July 25, government officials said.

The budget for the funeral includes 400 million yen for building a 75-sq.-meter facility for the ceremony, which is expected to take place at the Toshimagaoka cemetery in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward, the officials said.

The agency expects an additional budget of several hundred million yen for fiscal 2001, as the construction of the 1,800-sq.-meter mausoleum will take about a year, the officials said.