In Japan, Shinzo Abe’s state funeral was marked by controversy and dissent

Japan has held a state funeral for Shinzo Abe. But the former Japanese prime minister remains a polarizing figure even after his death.

Will Shinzo Abe be more controversial in his posterity than in his lifetime? He had a state funeral on Tuesday, September 27, an honor bestowed on a man of his rank for the first time since 1967. But in an environment where brooding sometimes gave way to anger and resentment.

In the famous Budokan hall, 4,300 guests, including 700 foreign dignitaries (including Nicolas Sarkozy), attended a dark and grandiose ceremony. Surrounded by 20,000 policemen mobilized for the occasion, this part of the city was enveloped in a silence disturbed by 19 gunshots fired at the arrival of Akie Abe, the wife of the deceased, carrying the funeral urn of her husband. Outside, at an entrance to the boulevard leading to the building, tens of thousands of Japanese, young and old, men and women, often in their Sunday best, lined up for a final tribute for miles, testifying to the wide spectrum of their admirers, if not his supporters.

But at the exit of the boulevard, two factions in small but irreducible numbers confronted each other and shouted at each other: to the right the nationalist faction, the core of Shinzo Abe’s supporters, to the left his usual opponents, furious and restrained. by hundreds of policemen. “No to fascist state funerals,” read one banner. “Say we’re here, take a picture of us!” she commanded a woman in a white ceremonial dress wearing a wolf mask and carrying an “Against State Funeral” sign.

Consensual abroad… but not in Japan

Twice as Prime Minister (2006-2007 and then 2012-2020), Shinzo Abe broke the record for the longevity of his position. He had become, in recent years, the oldest of the G7 participants, a leader in an entire country that before him wore them out in a few years. , he never became one at home. His reign was dotted with scandal, and the reforms obtained, say his opponents, twisting the arm of the constituted body[…]


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