Tokyo [Japan]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday arrived in Tokyo to attend the state funeral of former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe who was attacked on July 8 in the city of Nara during a campaign speech and died later that day.
Abe was shot at about 11:30 am local time in Nara on July 8, east of Osaka, as he gave an election campaign speech on the street. He was taken to the hospital where Abe was pronounced dead at 5:03 pm.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi wrote, “Arrived in Tokyo,” as he reached the country to pay tributes to the late prime minister.
Japan has imposed tight security measures in the capital city Tokyo as it prepares to host foreign dignitaries for the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which will be attended by several foreign dignitaries.
The state-funded event on Tuesday has encountered growing criticism as it is expected to cost more than USD 11 million, with a large portion attributed to security costs, Japan’s Kyodo news reported.
Top-level security measures will be deployed, equivalent to those adopted during the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the police presence exceeding 18,000 personnel. According to Kyodo, Police are taking extra precautions to ensure there is no gap in security given that Abe was shot down despite the presence of police while he was giving a public address.
Abe’s funeral will be the second state funeral for a former prime minister since World War 2. The first one was held in 1967 for Shigeru Yoshida. Other deceased prime ministers received a joint Cabinet Office and Liberal Democratic Party service.
The funeral service will likely last for approximately one-and-a-half hours following which the national anthem of the country will be played, according to Japan Times. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will deliver a commemorative speech followed by addresses from other high-level delegates.
The state funeral ceremony will be the first major public event since new police security guidelines were implemented, including sniffer dogs at train stations and police patrols at Tokyo-area airports after Abe’s assassination on July 8.
Japan’s royal family will also pay tributes to Abe at his state funeral, however, maintaining the line of tradition, Emperor Naruhito will not be attending the funeral, and their imperial envoys will pay their respects.
The funeral ceremony will finish with sending off Abe’s remains and placing remembrance wreaths. Abe was shot on July 8 in the Japanese city of Nara. Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, approached the politician from behind and fired two shots from a distance of about 10 meters (33 feet).
The attacker reportedly plotted the assassination of the 67-year-old former head of government for nearly a year.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, stepped down in 2020 citing health reasons. He was Prime Minister of Japan twice, from 2006-07 and again from 2012-20. He was succeeded by Yoshihide Suga and later by Fumio Kishida.