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Shinzo Abe funeral: Japanese man ‘sets himself on fire’ in protest of assassinated PM’s state funeral

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters on Wednesday, “I heard that the police burned a man near the cabinet office before 7 a.m. this morning, and I know that the police are investigating.”

Police are now collecting evidence from security cameras and witnesses, TV Asahi said, adding that an officer who tried to put out the fire was injured and taken to hospital.

Shinzo Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, serving from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020 before resigning for health reasons.
He died of excessive bleeding in July at the age of 67 after being shot while giving a public address.
News of his assassination spread around the world and huge crowds gathered in the streets of Tokyo to pay their respects.

The Japanese government has announced it will hold a state funeral for Abe on Sept. 27, with the event estimated to cost up to $12 million due to heavy security and reception fees for hosting foreign dignitaries.

Opposition to that move is growing. Some protesters resent what they see as excessive use of government funds for the event, while others point to Abe’s sometimes divisive politics.

State funerals in Japan are usually reserved for members of the royal family, although former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida was also given the honor in 1967.

Despite his victory at the ballot box, Abe was no stranger to controversy. He has been involved in several scandals during his career and has sparked controversy over visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, which bears the names of convicted war criminals and is considered a symbol of Japan’s imperial military past in China, North Korea, and South Korea.

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