Thousands of people have been lining up this morning outside the arena where Mr. Abe’s funeral is being conducted to lay flowers and show their respect.
Thousands of people are assembling a short distance away to voice their indignation over Mr. Abe receiving the extremely uncommon honor of a state burial.
The Budokan arena has been surrounded by a thick security perimeter as scores of dignitaries and VIPs come for the ceremony in opulent motorcades.
The fact that so many of Japan’s allies have travelled to Tokyo is evidence of Mr. Abe’s standing among them.
Here at home, however, the situation is entirely different, with almost 60% of the populace publicly declaring their opposition to the state funeral. Many people are upset that the government is funding the event with over $12 million in taxpayer money without even getting parliamentary approval.
“I’m against Abe’s state funeral”
To voice their displeasure with the state event, dozens of protesters have congregated in the vicinity of the Budokan arena.
One protester told the BBC, “I’m against Abe’s state funeral,” referring to the fact that state funerals are typically held for members of the Imperial family of Japan.
State Funeral has begun:
The official funeral has started. The arena has thousands of people seated. The senior Japanese dignitaries entered as a military band and started playing a dirge.
The ashes, which appear to be housed in a ceremonial box, have been given to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
He then presented it formally to the military officials, who set the box in the middle of the altar that was erected at the front of the chamber.