As the state funeral for slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nears, opposition among the public and political parties continues to grow. Driving that are questions regarding the legal basis for the ceremony, the cost and whether or not it will force the public to mourn a former prime minister whose controversial legacy divides opinion.
The state funeral will take place at the Nippon Budokan in central Tokyo on Sept. 27 with approximately 6,400 attendees, including dignitaries from over 190 different countries. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said that U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will be among those attending.
Whereas funerals for past and sitting prime ministers were generally hosted jointly by the government and the political party to which the deceased belonged, Abe’s funeral will be hosted by the state, meaning it will be paid for entirely from the national budget at an estimated cost of ¥1.66 billion ($11.6 million).