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Japan to spend $1.83 million on former Prime Minister Abe’s state funeral

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News Tech: TOKYO, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Japan will spend $1.83 million on a state funeral for slain former leader Shinzo Abe, the government said on Friday, despite growing opposition from a public angered by revelations of the ruling party’s ties to the Unification Church.

The government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, an Abe protege, decided the state funeral would be paid for solely with state funds.

Abe, Japan’s longest-serving but divisive premier, was shot and killed at an election rally on July 8, and although funeral services were held soon after, Japan has decided to hold a state funeral at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan arena on Sept. 27.

But opinion polls show persistent opposition to the idea. In the latest, published on Sunday, 53% of respondents were against a state funeral.

The man is undergoing psychiatric evaluation, media has reported.

Japan’s last fully state-funded funeral for a prime minister was for Shigeru Yoshida in 1967. Subsequent ones have been paid for by both the state and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), of which Abe was an influential member. Several current and former world leaders are expected to attend, with news reports saying arrangements were being made for former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend, the Kremlin said in July. ($1 = 136.7000 yen)

RegisterReporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Elaine Lies, Editing by Chang-Ran Kim, Robert Birsel Source: Reuters Trust Principles.

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