It’s time to pay tribute to Japan. Four days after the murder of the former Japanese Prime Minister, his family and loved ones attend his funeral in Tokyo on Tuesday. The ceremony was to take place in the afternoon at the Buddhist temple Zojoji, in the center of Tokyo, in the presence in particular of the widow of Shinzo Abe, Akie, and the Prime Minister in office Fumio Kishida.
Many people went spontaneously in the morning in front of the temple to pay homage to Shinzo Abe whose violent death at the age of 67 shocked the country.
Public tributes were to be held at a later date in Tokyo and in the southwestern department of Yamaguchi, where the former leader was one of the representatives in the lower house of parliament.
More than 2,000 people attended a wake Monday at the same temple, including Mr. Kishida, a representative of Emperor Naruhito, figures from Japan’s political and economic world and foreign diplomats.
At the scene, a photograph showing Shinzo Abe smiling in a shirt without a tie was displayed, while a video showed Akie Abe singing and her husband accompanying her on the piano, people present told the Jiji agency.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, currently traveling in Asia, also attended the wake on Monday, and Taiwan’s vice president made a discreet visit to Tokyo for the occasion.
According to local media, Shinzo Abe will posthumously receive the Grand Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, the most prestigious decoration in the Archipelago. He had been attacked with a firearm on Friday while taking part in an electoral rally in Nara (western Japan) for the senatorial elections on Sunday, where the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD, nationalist right) to which he belonged unsurprisingly picked up a comfortable victory.
Suspect identified as ex-Japanese Navy
In parallel, tributes, the investigation continues about the suspect arrested at the scene of the attack. His suspected killer, arrested at the scene of the attack, has been identified by police as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, a former member of the Japanese Navy’s Maritime Self-Defense Force.
According to police sources cited by local media, he watched videos on YouTube showing how to make a homemade firearm like the one used in the attack.
Revenge against the Moon sect
The suspect explained that he deliberately targeted Shinzo Abe, saying he was angry at an organization he thought he was affiliated with. Japanese media quickly claimed that it was a religious organization to which Ms. Yamagami’s mother would have made large donations, putting their family in great financial difficulty.
The Unification Church, a cult 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 assured that Shinzo Abe was neither a member nor an adviser of the organization.