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400,000 signatures submitted to Cabinet Office seeking halt of state funeral for ex-PM Abe

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno is seen during a news conference at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on Sept. 5, 2022. (Mainichi/Kan Takeuchi)

TOKYO -- A group of citizens opposed to the state funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe submitted approximately 400,000 signatures to the Cabinet Office demanding that the ceremony be canceled, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno explained at a news conference on Sept. 5.

    He then stated, "We are aware that there are various opinions on the matter. We have decided that it is appropriate to hold the funeral in a way that allows for the attendance of foreign guests by organizing the ceremony as an official national event to express respect and condolences to the deceased," and requested understanding about the decision.

    Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is scheduled to attend Diet deliberations planned for as early as Sept. 8 to answer questions from ruling and opposition party lawmakers regarding the state funeral.

    Matsuno also said that he would like to carefully explain that the holding of the state funeral does not require each citizen to appreciate Abe's political achievements or to mourn for him.

    (Japanese original by Akira Murao, Political News Department)

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