At the first official burial for a former premier in 55 years, Japan honoured the deceased former prime minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday with flowers, prayers, and a 19-gun salute. PM Narendra Modi, US Vice President Kamala Harris, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and others all attended the occasion. At 10.30 am, his widow Akie Abe arrived at the state funeral hall carrying an urn containing her husband’s cremated remains, which were housed inside a wooden box.
When meeting with current PM Fumio Kishida, PM Modi, who had arrived in Tokyo earlier on September 27, claimed that Abe had elevated relations between Japan and India. He assured Kishida that he is certain that Kishida’s leadership will lead to greater depths and heights in India-Japan ties.
While on the campaign trail in the western city of Nara, Abe was shot at close range by a man using a handmade gun. On July 8, the hospital declared him deceased.
Abe’s widow, Akie, carried his ashes into the Nippon Budokan Hall in the heart of Tokyo at 2 p.m. local time (10.30 a.m. IST) as the ritual got underway to the sounds of a military band and the salute of the honour guard.
A giant, black-ribbon-draped image of Abe was suspended above a bed of white, green, and yellow flowers inside the Budokan, best renowned as a performance venue. In close proximity, a photo gallery displayed images of him jogging with G7 leaders, holding hands with kids, and visiting disaster zones.
One of the most important leaders in Japan’s post-war history, Shinzo Abe was killed on July 8. With two terms, from 2006 to 2007 and subsequently from 2012 to 2020, he was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister. Following the recurrence of a persistent illness, he declared in August 2020 that he would resign from his position. To be in office until September 2021, Abe, who was 65 at the time, was scheduled.