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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Shinzo Abe’s funeral is being conducted in Tokyo, and the nation is in mourning

Mourners gathered outside a Tokyo shrine on Tuesday to denounce the “despicable” murder of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s family and friends.

Days before the upper house elections, in which his governing party strengthened its grip on power, Abe was shot at close range while delivering a campaign speech in the city of Nara.

Terrorist suspect Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, is in arrest and has admitted to authorities that he was motivated by anti-government feelings.

People clad in black gathered at the Zojoji temple to pay their respects to Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, despite the fact that the burial ceremonies were only open to family members and close colleagues.

Consultant Tsukasa Yokawa, 41, said he couldn’t get over his grief, so he came to lay flowers and pray for Abe. Abe was described as “a brilliant prime minister who achieved a lot to enhance Japan’s position” on the world arena.

“It’s horrible,” Yuko Takehisa, a 51-year-old assistant nurse from Kanagawa, near Tokyo, said of the situation.

It could have been prevented, she added, blaming “no one” for not reporting Yamagami to authorities, despite claims he had test-fired a homemade pistol before the incident.

National Public Safety Commission Chairman Satoshi Ninoyu, a cabinet post that oversees national police, promised Tuesday to conduct a thorough investigation into any security breaches.

Local police have previously confessed shortcomings in their guarding programme for the high-profile lawmaker, who was shot in broad daylight after being approached from behind.

According to Japanese media reports citing anonymous investigation sources, police searching the suspect’s residence uncovered pellets and other likely components for manufacturing a pistol similar to the crude weapon used in the assault.

Three years of Yamagami’s service in the Japanese navy led to reports that the family’s financial problems were caused by his mother’s substantial payments to a religious organisation.

Despite confirming that Yamagami’s mother was a member of the Unification Church, a worldwide religious movement formed in Korea in the 1950s, the organisation declined to comment on any contributions she may have made.

Japan and the globe were shocked and outraged by Abe’s death, which prompted an avalanche of sympathy letters.

Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Japanese foreign minister, said on Tuesday that over 1,700 sympathy notes had been received from 259 nations, territories and international organisations.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid respect to Japan’s Prime Minister Abe on Monday by calling him as a “visionary leader.”

And Taiwanese Vice President William Lai was also in Tokyo for a surprise visit, Taiwanese media said.

The visit has the potential to enrage Beijing, but Japan’s position on developing non-governmental ties with Taiwan has not changed, according to Hayashi.

A procession carrying Abe’s remains will pass through some of Tokyo’s most important political buildings, including the prime minister’s official house, the Kantei, and the Diet, the country’s parliament.

While there are rumours that high-ranking international political figures might attend public tributes at a later date, no specifics have been released.

At the age of 52, Abe became the country’s youngest post-war prime minister when he assumed office for the first time.

In 2020, near the conclusion of his second term, due to health issues, he announced his resignation.

There were several controversies around him, including accusations of favouritism, and he had to deal with the fallout of his nationalist ideas and his ambition to amend the constitution.

Abenomics” and his attempts to place Japan on the global scene were also hailed by others, especially by building strong connections with former U.S. President Donald Trump.

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