Renault: Sales down 16.5% in the first half

Thousands of people turned out to pray Tuesday as Shinzo Abe’s funeral procession passed. The procession circulated in front of symbolic locations in Tokyo following the funeral of the former Japanese prime minister who was assassinated last Friday.

The funeral service took place in the early afternoon at the Zojoji Buddhist temple in the center of the Japanese capital, in the presence of Shinzo Abe’s widow, Akie, and the incumbent Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida. Many Japanese spontaneously gathered in front of the temple that morning to pay homage to the leader, whose violent death at the age of 67 shook the country.

“I am shocked and angry. I can’t get over my sadness so I came to lay flowers and pray,” Tsukasa Yokawa, 41, told AFP. “I really respected him. He was a great prime minister who did a lot to strengthen Japan’s presence in the world.”

Public tributes were later to be held in Tokyo and southwestern Yamaguchi Prefecture, where Mr. Abe was one of the MPs.

International Honors

After the ceremony, the funeral procession left the temple to pass political institutions where Mr Abe served during his career: parliament, the prime minister’s office and the headquarters of the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD, nationalist right) in power.

In front of each building, ministers, civil servants and employees bowed with folded hands as the hearse passed. Seated at the front of the black vehicle, Mrs. Abe held before her the wooden plaque on which, according to Buddhist tradition, her husband’s posthumous name was engraved.

More than 2,000 people had already attended a wake at the same temple on Monday, including Mr. Kishida, a representative of Emperor Naruhito, figures from Japan’s political and economic world and foreign diplomats.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who is currently traveling in Asia, attended Monday’s wake and Taiwan’s Vice President paid a private visit to Tokyo to mark the occasion.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also announced on Tuesday that a total of more than 1,700 letters of condolence had been received from 259 countries, territories and international organizations.

posthumous decoration

According to local media, Mr Abe will posthumously receive the Grand Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, the archipelago’s most prestigious award.

He was attacked with a gun on Friday while attending a rally in Nara, western Japan, for Sunday’s Senate elections, which ended with the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD, nationalist rights in power), of which Mr Abe belonged. won a comfortable victory.

Tetsuya Yamagami, his alleged killer and arrested immediately after the attack, is a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, the Japanese Navy. According to police sources quoted by local media, the 41-year-old man watched videos on YouTube showing how to make a homemade firearm used in the attack.

moon sect

The suspect said he deliberately targeted Mr Abe because he was angry at an organization he thought was affiliated with. Japanese media was quick to claim that it was a religious organization to which Ms. Yamagami’s mother made large donations, causing great financial difficulties for her family.

The Unification Church, a sect of South Korean origin also known as the “Moon sect,” confirmed at a news conference in Tokyo on Monday that the suspect’s mother was among its followers, but assured that Mr. Abe is neither a member nor an adviser of the organization .

Mr. Abe held the record for longevity as Prime Minister of Japan, which he held in 2006-2007 and then again from late 2012 to the summer of 2020. Both nationalist and pragmatic, he impressed with his bold economic policies, but Abenomics, which combine massive fiscal stimulus with ultra-loose monetary policy, paints a contrasting picture.

He also advocated a Japan free of its militaristic past and dreamed of revising the pacifist Japanese Constitution of 1947, written by the American occupiers and never amended since. He was forced to resign for health reasons, but remained very influential within the PLD, which he led for a long time.

This article was published automatically. Sources: ats/afp

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