Jul 12, 2022 - World

Japan holds funeral for Shinzo Abe after assassination

A car carrying the body of Japan's former prime minister Shinzo Abe leaves Zojoji temple where his funeral was held on July 12, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan.

A car carrying the body of Japan's former prime minister Shinzo Abe leaves Zojoji temple on July 12 in Tokyo. Photo: Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

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

Driving the news: Family and close friends attended the private funeral on Tuesday at the Zojoji Temple in Tokyo, while 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 Funeral Hall for the cremation of Abe's body. Akie Abe, the widow of Abe, sat in the front seat of the hearse, per CNN.
  • The hearse was transported through Tokyo's main political district, Nagata-cho, where Abe spent more than three decades after he was elected to the parliament in 1991, AP reports.
  • Crowds on the street watched as Abe's body was transported, some bowing their heads, while others prayed and waved at the hearse, per Reuters.

The big picture: Leaders from around the world sent condolences and tributes to the assassinated leader, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who made a stop to pay his respects on his trip from Southeast Asia to the U.S., per Reuters.

  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Taiwan Vice President William Lai, on a separate visit as a family friend, also joined the mourners, per Reuters.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron also expressed his condolences in a tweet, saying: "I remember all our meetings and work together, especially during my visit in 2019 ... I've lost a friend."

State of play: Police have arrested the suspected shooter, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, who is a former Japanese Navy member and reportedly expressed discontent with Abe, per NHK.

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

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