Shinzo Abe has been honored with a state funeral that has an estimated price that is 1.66 billion yen, as opposed to Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding, which cost 1.3 billion dollars. This event has angered a lot of Japanese who believe that Shinzo Abe didn’t deserve the honor and that this money should be better used for better use.
Japan will honor its longest-serving president, Shinzo Abe, with a unique funeral in a state that is almost as controversial as the one he held on Tuesday.
World leaders such as Prime Vice-President Narendra Modi, and United States vice president Kamala Harris, among others, will attend the funeral of the assassinated leader.
Also read: Explained Why Japan is at a crossroads over a national funeral to honor Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving leader.
Abe’s funeral is just one week after leaders from around the world were in London to attend the public funeral of the Queen of England, Elizabeth II. The cost to pay for her funeral had not been released but it is estimated to be about PS8 million, or 1.3 billion dollars. Compare this with Shinzo Abe’s funeral which has a reported cost in the range of 1.66 billion yen.
In fact, the most recent Kyodo survey by the news agency found that there was a lot of money being spent money on funerals.
What is it that makes Abe’s departure so costly? What is the way in which the Japanese responded to this cost?
A funeral unlike any other
The first thing to note is that this isn’t an ordinary occasion.
In Japan, the funerals of the state are reserved for those belonging to the Imperial Family. There is only one time, from World War II, has an individual leader received this honor and that was in the year 1967. Shigeru Yoshida who was the one to sign the San Francisco Treaty ending the US occupation of Japan and restoring relations with the Allies was awarded this honor at the time.
Therefore, the reality that Abe will be receiving the honor of a state funeral is a significant event. One of the reasons for Abe receiving this honor is the way his death occurred -in that way he was shot during the rally for elections on the 8th of July. Also, Japan mourned him. He wasn’t particularly popular, as per opinion polls. However, few doubt that he helped bring the country peace and stability according to BBC. BBC.
Abe funeral for the state at Abe’s state funeral at the Nippon Budokan in central Tokyo described as “funeral diplomacy” by a lot of people will host more than 700 people from 217 nations which include US vice president Kamala Harris and Indian and Australian premier officials Narendra Modi as well as Anthony Albanese.
Along with world-renowned leaders, present and past leaders of Japan’s legislative administrative, and judicial branches are also expected to attend. Parliamentarians from Japan as well as local government officials and business and community leaders will also be in attendance which is believed to be in the region of 4000.
According to reports, the expense of hosting dignitaries could be 600 million dollars.
Another significant expense associated with funerals is security. A large-scale security and police presence will be evident at the ceremony.
According to a report published in Japan Times, sources from the Tokyo police reported that about 20,000 officers from the force will be on hand for the event, far exceeding the 18,000 people who were deployed during the summit in May to “the Quad meeting’, where the leaders from Japan and Australia, Japan United States, Australia, and India came together in Tokyo, the capital of the country.
Police units have been stationed at the major stations for trains and at other places in Tokyo.
Chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno has revealed that around 800 million yen are expected to be allocated for the security of the festival.
What can you expect to see when you attend the funeral
The funeral of the state for Abe will begin at 2 p.m. (local timing) on Tuesday, at the Nippon Budokan in central Tokyo. It is anticipated to last for about one-and-a-half hours, which is roughly one-quarter of the length of the funeral ceremony which was held in honor of Shigeru Yoshida in 1965.
In the Budokan, guests will gather for a few hours prior to the funeral. Food and drinks are not allowed inside. be permitted inside, and the use of cameras or personal computers will be restricted to media. A total of 1,000 Japanese soldiers will be lining the streets around the site. The ceremony will begin by firing 19 volleys like the funeral of Yoshida.
As per an AAP report, the government officials, lawmakers, and judges including prime minister Fumio Kishida will deliver condolence remarks, which will be and then Abe’s widow Akie Abe. Outside the arena, a table to display flowers will be placed in front of the public.
The ceremony will conclude with the exhumation of Abe’s body and the placing of a memorial wreath.
People who want to honor the deceased are able to place their flowers in Kudanzaka Park close to the venue.
The pricey cost associated with Shinzo Abe’s funeral riled many people living in Japan. Many believe that the money should be used for more worthwhile causes, like reducing the growing economic disparities due to Abe’s policies.
Hidemi Noto, who is 38 years old, was quoted as saying, assistant director of films was quoted as saying to Reuters, “I do not think that this funeral should be held. It’s a completely different meaning than the funeral of ordinary people. I’m not sure we should be using tax dollars to fund this.”
There are many who agree with Noto’s views and the discontent surrounding the funeral has grown more pronounced in the days leading up to the day on Tuesday. On the 21st of September, an elderly man burned himself close to the office of the prime minister in an apparent protest against the funeral.
In actual fact, as per an earlier poll conducted by The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, 62 percent of those polled were against the ceremony. Many said Abe did not deserve the honor, while others were concerned about the expense.
Japan’s costly funerals
Although many have complained about the high cost of funerals for the former premier funerals themselves can be costly in the Asian country.
According to a study conducted by Kamakura Shinsho Ltd., an online service that specializes in funerals, elderly care, and burials, the average cost of a funeral was 1.1 million yen ($7,725).
It’s about 25% of the annual average salary and doesn’t even include additional expenses such as offering for Buddhist monks.
One of the expenses that create an enigma over funerals in Japan is the cash offerings to Buddhist monks who read sutras in ceremonies and also give names to those who have died to help them in their final days. Bloomberg says that monks get paid approximately 200k yen per year for these services.
Families complain that they are under pressure to pay for whatever is requested since the idea of negotiating funeral costs could be considered to be inconsiderate.
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