“I feel shocked and angry. I can’t get over my sadness, so I came to lay flowers and pray,” Tsukasa Yukawa, 41, told AFP. “I really respected him. He was a great prime minister who did so much to increase Japan’s presence in the world.” A public honor was to be held later in Tokyo and the southwestern Yamaguchi Prefecture, where Mr. Abe was one of the deputies.
After the ceremony, the funeral procession left the temple to pass the political institutions where Mr. Abe has presided over his career: Parliament, the Prime Minister’s office and the headquarters of the Liberal Democratic Party (national right) in power. In front of each building, ministers, officials, and servants bowed with folded hands as the chair passed. Sitting at the front of the black car, Mrs. Abe holds the wooden board on which her husband’s posthumous name was written according to Buddhist tradition.
owns: The shocking photos of the assassination of Shinzo Abe
More than 2,000 people had already attended a funeral service at the same temple on Monday, including Mr. Kishida, a representative of Emperor Naruhito, figures from the Japanese political and economic world and foreign diplomats. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who is currently traveling in Asia, was present on Monday, and the Vice President of Taiwan made a special visit to Tokyo for the occasion.
Also on Tuesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi announced that more than 1,700 messages of condolence had been received in total from 259 countries, territories and international organizations. According to local media, Mr. Abe will posthumously receive the Grand Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, the archipelago’s finest decoration. He was attacked with a firearm on Friday while participating in a campaign rally in Nara (western Japan) for Sunday’s upper house elections, at the end of which the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD, right-wing nationalist in power), in which Mr. Abe belonged, and scored a comfortable victory.
Tetsuya Yamagami, the suspected killer who was immediately captured after the attack, is a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, the Japanese Navy. According to police sources cited by local media, the 41-year-old watched videos on YouTube showing how to make a homemade firearm like the one used in the attack. The suspect said he deliberately targeted Mr. Abe because he was angry with an organization he believed he belonged to.
The Japanese media soon claimed that it was a religious organization to which Mrs. Yamagami’s mother would make large donations, putting their families in great financial difficulty. The Unification Church, a sect of South Korean origin also known as the “Moon Sect,” confirmed at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday that the suspect’s mother was among its followers, but emphasized that Mr. Abe was neither a member nor an advisor to the organization.
Mr. Abe set the record for longevity as Prime Minister of Japan, which he held in 2006-2007, and then again from the end of 2012 to the summer of 2020. “Abenomics”, which combines massive budget stimulus with highly accommodative monetary policy, for a contrasting picture . He also called for a Japan free of its militaristic past and dreamed of revising the pacifist Japanese constitution of 1947, which was written by the American occupiers and has not been amended since. He was forced to resign due to health reasons, but remained highly influential within the PLD that he led for so long.