Japan: Public unhappy over government plan to spend USD 12mn for Abe funeral

News World

Japanese government said on Tuesday (September 6) that it expects to spend about 1.7 billion yen (USD 12 million) on a state funeral for Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister who was assassinated in July. The huge expenditure is proving to be deeply unpopular among Japanese voters. A poll has showed that about half of Japanese voters oppose the expenditure.

Abe was shot dead on the campaign trail in July, and the government expects dozens of current and former heads of state to pay condolences at the September 27 service in Tokyo.

Security at the event alone is expected to cost around 800 million yen. Another 600 million will be spent on hosting and 250 million for the ceremony.

“Delegates from more than 190 foreign (countries and regions) will likely participate,” said Hirozaku Matsuno, top governemnt spokesman, on Tuesday.

Shinzo Abe’s funeral is due to be held at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan, a venue used for concerts and sports events that also hosted Japan’s last state funeral for a former prime minister in 1967.

But state funerals for former politicians are rare in Japan, and a weekend poll published Monday by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper found that 56 percent of voters oppose the event, against 38 percent in favour.

Other recent polls have shown similar levels of opposition, and Kishida has said he is ready to answer questions on the issue in parliament.

His government’s approval ratings have taken a hit in recent weeks, in part due to the funeral decision.

(With inputs from agencies)

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