Japan holds Shinzo Abe’s funeral after his assassination

Japan held the funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday, four days after the country’s longest-serving prime minister was assassinated at a campaign rally.

Driving the news: Family and close friends attended the private funeral Tuesday at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo, as crowds gathered outside with flowers, notes and green tea, a symbol of good luck, CNN reports.

  • After the service, a hearse was driven from the temple to the Kirigaya burial hall for cremation. Akie Abe, Abe’s widow, sat in the front seat of the hearse, according to CNN.
  • The hearse was carried through Tokyo’s main political district, Nagata-cho, where Abe spent more than three decades after his election to parliament in 1991, AP reports.
  • Crowds on the street watched as Abe’s body was carried, some nodding, while others prayed and saluted the hearse, by Reuters.

The big picture: Leaders around the world sent their condolences and tributes to the slain leader, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who stopped to pay his respects during his trip from Southeast Asia to the United States. United, according to Reuters.

  • US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Taiwanese Vice President William Lai, on a separate visit as a friend of the family, also joined the mourners, according to Reuters.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron also expressed his condolences in a Tweetersaying, “I remember all of our meetings and working together, especially when I visited in 2019…I lost a friend.”

State of play: Police have arrested the suspected gunman, Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, who is a former member of the Japanese Navy and is said to have expressed his displeasure with Abe, per NHK.

  • Police determined the bullet entered Abe’s left arm and damaged the arteries below his collar bones, causing fatal bleeding. PA reports.
  • Abe, who was most recently in office from December 2012 to September 2020, resigned for health reasons but remained politically influential.

Go further… Former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe assassinated