Japanese bids farewell to Shinzo Abe

Japanese and foreign dignitaries paid tribute to assassinated former prime minister Shinzo Abe at a controversial state funeral on Tuesday, as long lines of people gathered to offer flowers and prayers.

Abe’s ashes, carried by his widow Akie, arrived at the storied Budokan venue in Tokyo, where a 19-gun salute sounded in honor of the slain former leader.

The motorcade carrying his remains had traveled from his widow’s home in the capital, past a row of white-uniformed armed troops who stood to attention.

Outside the Budokan, thousands of Japanese people stood in line as the ashes arrived, waiting to deliver flowers and say a prayer in two mourning tents.

Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister and one of the country’s most recognizable political figures, known for cultivating international alliances and his “Abenomics” economic strategy.

During his reign as the Prime Minister of Japan, Ghana received a $57 million (¥6.49 billion) grant facility from the State of Japan for the rehabilitation of phase two of the national trunk road, N8.

That was after the Governments of Ghana and Japan had signed an agreement after holding bilateral talks between President Akufo-Addo and Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, on Tuesday, December 11, 2018; day 1 of President Akufo-Addo’s 3-day official visit to Japan.

He resigned in 2020 over recurring health problems, but remained a key political voice and was campaigning for his ruling party when a lone gunman killed him on July 8.

The shooting sent shock waves through a country with famously low gun crime and prompted international condemnation.

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