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Japan on high alert ahead of former PM Abe's state funeral
Tokyo: Japan has imposed tight security measures in the capital city Tokyo as it prepares to host foreign dignitaries for the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which will be attended by several foreign dignitaries including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The state-funded event on Tuesday has encountered growing criticism as it is expected to cost more than USD 11 million, with a large portion attributed to security costs, Japan's Kyodo news reported. Top-level security measures will be deployed, equivalent to those adopted during the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the police presence exceeding 18,000 personnel.
According to Kyodo, Police are taking extra precautions to ensure there is no gap in security given that Abe was shot down despite the presence of police while he was giving a public address.
The state funeral of Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated on July 8 in the city of Nara during a campaign speech, will take place on September 27. Thousands of people are expected to attend the funeral.
Representatives from hundreds of countries and international organizations are expected to participate in the state funeral on Tuesday at the Nippon Budokan in central Tokyo, Japan Times reported.
Abe's funeral will be the second state funeral for a former prime minister since World War 2. The first one was held in 1967 for Shigeru Yoshida. Other deceased prime ministers received a joint Cabinet Office and Liberal Democratic Party service.
The state funeral ceremony will be the first major public event since new police security guidelines were implemented, including sniffer dogs at train stations and police patrols at Tokyo-area airports after Abe's assassination.
Several foreign dignitaries are expected to attend the funeral service in Tokyo. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend Abe's funeral. He will also separately meet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
The funeral service will likely last for approximately one-and-a-half hours following which the national anthem of the country will be played, according to Japan Times. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will deliver a commemorative speech followed by addresses from other high-level delegates.
Japan's royal family will also pay tributes to Abe at his state funeral, however, maintaining the line of tradition, Emperor Naruhito will not be attending the funeral, and their imperial envoys will pay their respects.
The funeral ceremony will finish with sending off Abe's remains and placing remembrance wreaths.
Abe was shot on July 8 in the Japanese city of Nara. (ANI)