Tense Japan holds funeral for assassinated ex-leader Abe

Tense Japan holds funeral for assassinated ex-leader Abe

2 months ago

TOKYO: A tense Japan prepared Tuesday for a rare and controversial state funeral for assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the longest-serving leader in his nation's modern history and one of the most divisive.

Tokyo was under maximum security, with angry protests opposing the funeral planned. Hours before the ceremony, hundreds of people carrying bouquets of flowers queued at public flower-laying stands at nearby Kudanzaka park. Their line stretched several blocks.

Masayuki Aoki, a 70-year-old business owner, recalls his "fist bump" with Abe when he came to Yokohama, near his home, for campaigning just days before he was killed. "I'm emotionally attached to him and I've been supporting the LDP, too," he said. "I had to come to offer him flowers."

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