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30% support state funeral for ex-PM Abe, 53% opposed: Mainichi poll

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Thirty percent of respondents surveyed in a nationwide opinion poll in Japan on Aug. 20 and 21 said they were in favor of a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, while 53% were opposed to the move.

    Another 17% said they were undecided about the plans for the state funeral following the assassination of Abe in July, the poll conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun and the Social Survey Research Center found.

    When broken down by party support, 66% of respondents who supported the ruling Liberal Democratic Party were in favor of the state funeral, more than the 17% who were opposed to it. Meanwhile, supporters of Komeito, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), as well as respondents who answered that they didn't support any particular party, all showed a lower percentage in favor of the plan than those opposing it.

    The state funeral is scheduled for Sept. 27 at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, and all expenses will come from state coffers. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has stressed the necessity of the state funeral, but the CDP and the JCP oppose it, and a citizens' group has filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against it.

    Regarding Abe's connection with the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, more commonly known by its former name, the Unification Church, 39% of respondents said that the issue had "changed" their assessment of Abe, while 60% said it had "not changed" how they felt about him. It was revealed that Abe had sent a video message to a meeting of a Unification Church friendship group.

    The survey was conducted using a combination of text messages on mobile phones and automated voice questionnaires on fixed-line phones. A total of 536 valid responses were received from mobile phones and 429 valid responses from landlines.

    (Japanese original by Nanae Ito, Political News Department)

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