Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida greeted foreign leaders after the state funeral for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Japan, September 27, 2022.
Foreign leaders included U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former UK Prime Minister Theresa May, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Japan bid an emotional farewell Tuesday for Abe, one of modern Japan’s most influential leaders, who was assassinated in July.
The state funeral, held at central Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan arena, drew thousands of Japanese citizens and foreign dignitaries, despite a domestic backlash against the ceremony.
Abe’s remains were carried into the auditorium by his widow, Akie, and placed at an ornate, flower-decked display featuring a Japanese flag.
Harris, who is leading the U.S. funeral delegation, said Monday that Abe had left a legacy of “enduring friendship with the United States.”
At home, the conservative Abe’s legacy is more complicated. Since his death, his state funeral, an honor usually reserved for the emperor and his family, has drawn public backlash.
Polls suggest most Japanese oppose the state funeral. Many complain the event is too expensive. The government projects it will cost $12 million, much higher than an earlier estimate.
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