Japanese mourners pay last respects to ex-PM Shinzo Abe at funeral

Thousands of mourners have lined the streets of Tokyo to pay their last respects to former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, the BBC reports.

A hearse bearing Abe’s body is making its way through the city and will pass several landmarks.

The private funeral, which was only open to friends and close family, took place at the Zojoji temple earlier.


The 67-year-old was shot dead last Friday while delivering a campaign speech in Nara in southern Japan.

Across Tokyo, flags are flying at half mast and outside the temple, a long line of mourners, many carrying bunches of flowers, stretched over two blocks.

The hearse went past the headquarters of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and made its way to the prime minister’s residence, where Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and other lawmakers received the motorcade.

It then passed by parliament building, where Abe first entered as a lawmaker in 1993, and is now making its way to the funeral hall in Shinagawa.

Abe was Japan’s longest serving post-war prime minister and one of its most influential politicians.

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