Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister of Japan, received tributes from a number of world leaders today at his state funeral in Tokyo. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among them. He presented the former leader with flowers in homage. Shinzo Abe’s widow Akie carried his ashes into a Tokyo venue where thousands of mourners had gathered on Tuesday as the contentious state burial for the slain former prime minister of Japan got under way.
Due to the significant expenses incurred and the fact that state funerals are only held for members of the Imperial family, the ritual has encountered widespread resistance. Only twice has a politician received a state funeral, the latest time being many years ago. According to recent polls, the event is opposed by almost 60% of Japanese people.
Akie entered the Budokan venue while a 19-gun salute was fired in honour of the former premier while wearing a black kimono. She carried the ashes in a box covered with decorative fabric.
The former prime minister overhauled Japan’s foreign policy, outlining an ambitious plan for a significant improvement in relations with India.
In his meeting with Fumio Kishida on Tuesday, PM Modi emphasised the late Japanese leader’s contributions to advancing the two countries’ relationship as well as his vision for an Indo-Pacific that is free, open, and inclusive.
Abe served as Japan’s prime minister for the longest period of time and is one of the nation’s most recognisable politicians. He is renowned for forging international alliances and his “Abenomics” economic policy.
According to PM Modi’s tweet, “I am travelling to Tokyo tonight to take part in the State Funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a dear friend and a great champion of India-Japan friendship.”
“On behalf of all Indians, I shall send Prime Minister Kishida and Mrs. Abe our deepest sympathies. As envisioned by Abe San, we will continue to work to further solidify India-Japan relations. @kishida230, “He had spoken.
Mr. Abe, 67, was assassinated three months ago in the southern Japanese city of Nara while giving a campaign address. His alleged killer believed the former leader had connections to the Unification Church, which the attacker resented due to significant donations his mother had made to the sect. He therefore targeted the former leader.
In honour of Mr. Abe, India had declared July 9 to be a day of national mourning.