Shinzo Abe: Hundreds protest against former Japanese prime minister's state funeral

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Several hundred protesters in Tokyo are calling for the cancelling of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe's state funeral

Anger mounted on Wednesday when a man in his 70s set himself on fire near the prime minister's residence in an apparent protest at the state funeral, Japanese media reported. He was taken to hospital, conscious.Some 62% of respondents in a recent poll by the Mainichi newspaper said they opposed holding a state funeral for Mr Abe.Opposition to the state funeral is also linked to Mr Abe and ties between lawmakers in the party he led, the Liberal Democratic Party, and the Unification Church.

The former prime minister's suspected killer, Tetsuya Yamagami, accused the church of impoverishing his family, according to police. In social media posts before the killing, he blamed Mr Abe for supporting the group.State funerals are often for emperorsThe official public bill for the funeral is about 1.7 billion yen , but experts note that hidden costs such as security add to the total.

The decision to hold one for the former prime minister was made by the cabinet and did not go through parliamentary approval. Some lawyers' groups have challenged its legality. While Mr Abe was loved by nationalists and many on the right for his defence and pro-market policies, he was reviled by many who want to keep the country's pacifist constitution unchanged.

A private funeral for Mr Abe was held on 12 July and next Tuesday, around 6,000 guests are expected to gather for the state funeral.


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Japan Population 126m Tokyo Population 14m. Few hundred equates to a long bus queue in that city

Very tiny minority. Will have no effect whatsoever.

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