Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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Japanese mourners pay last respects to ex-PM Shinzo Abe at funeral

Mourners in Japan are showing up to pay their last respects to their former prime minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday.

The private funeral, which is only open to friends and close family, is underway at Tokyo’s Zojoji temple.

The 67-year-old was shot dead last Friday while delivering a campaign speech in Nara in southern Japan.

Following the funeral, the hearse bearing Abe’s body will proceed through downtown Tokyo.

A funeral procession on Tuesday afternoon will pass by landmarks like the parliament building, which Abe first entered as a lawmaker in 1993 and the office from which he led the nation as prime minister.

A vigil held on Monday evening drew hundreds of dignitaries as well as thousands of ordinary Japanese citizens who came to lay flowers.

Abe was delivering a campaign speech in support of a candidate for Japan’s upper house election when he was shot twice.

Footage of the attack showed the gunman, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, using a makeshift weapon made of metal and wood and held together by duct tape.

Abe suffered two bullet wounds to his neck and damage to his heart during the attack. He was said to be conscious and responsive in the minutes after the attack, but doctors said no vital signs were detected by the time he was transferred for treatment.

Police are still investigating what the gunman’s motives were and whether he acted alone.

SourceNHK, BBC

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