Japan Divided over Planned State Funeral for Shinzo Abe


Tokyo, July 15 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government's plan to hold a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has met mixed reactions from the country's political parties and the general public.

There has been only one state funeral in Japan's post-World War II history, underlining the magnitude of the plan announced by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday.

Abe was the country's longest-serving prime minister but also a controversial one, having pressed ahead with nation-dividing policies including the lifting of the country's self-imposed ban on the exercise of its right to collective self-defense. He was also criticized in terms of accountability to the public.

As reasons for holding the state funeral, Kishida said at a press conference on Thursday that Abe's achievements are "truly outstanding" and that he has received "extremely high praise from the international community, including foreign leaders."

Many in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have welcomed the state funeral plan. Yasutoshi Nishimura, who heads the secretariat of an LDP faction that was led by Abe, told reporters, "I'll be happy with the cabinet's decision (on the state funeral), as it means the whole country will recognize (Abe's) achievements."

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Jiji Press