Japan Has State Funeral For Assassinated Ex-PM Shinzo Abe
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
TOKYO (Worthy News) – Japan began honoring former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July, with a rare state funeral in Tokyo, but protests overshadowed the ceremony.
About 6,400 people were attending the service, including government leaders from around the world. Vice President Kamala Harris leads the U.S. delegation, the White House said.
The 67-year-old politician Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was gunned down at an election rally on July 8 during his campaign speech in Nara, two days before the July 10 upper house elections.
The suspect, detained at the scene, said he targeted Abd because of his ties with the Unification Church.
Tetsuya Yamagami said his mother’s huge donations to the church ruined his life, “destroying my family and driving it into bankruptcy.”
Many others have similar stories, according to investigators.
Founded in Seoul, South Korea, the Unification Church that Abe supported has been controversial, with some critics calling it a dangerous cult.
Amid the controversy, thousands of protestors on Tuesday opposed the state funeral, estimated to cost taxpayers $11.5 million.
It was a sign of Abe’s complicated legacy, commentators said.
Abe’s assassination was the first assassination of a former Japanese prime minister since 1936 and shocked many in Japan and its allies.
Some 20,000 police officers were reportedly deployed for Tuesday’s event, given that police admitted to flaws in the protection provided to Abe in July.