Japanese man sets himself on fire in apparent protest at the funeral of the former Prime Minister


© Reuters. Police officers and firefighters investigate the scene where a protesting man held a state funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s self-immolation, near Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan on September 21,


A man set himself on fire near the Japanese prime minister’s office on Wednesday in apparent protest against the government’s decision to hold a state funeral for former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in the early hours of his life. This year, TV Asahi reported.

The man was taken to hospital with full body burns, while a policeman trying to put out the fire was also injured, media said.

The media added that a letter protesting Prime Minister Abe’s state funeral was found nearby.

Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was shot down during a rally on July 8. His state funeral was set for September 27, with about 6,000 people from Japan and foreign countries will participate.

However, opposition to the event grew because of revelations after Abe killed links between the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), of which he was a powerful member, and the Orthodox Church. most controversial. The suspect in Abe’s death has said the church has bankrupted his mother and he feels the former prime minister supports that.

The association with the Unification Church, founded in South Korea in the 1950s, has been a major issue for incumbent Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the LDP since they emerged after the murder of Abe. The LDP earlier this month said a survey found that nearly half of 379 lawmakers have some form of interaction with the church.

The public was largely in favor of a state funeral at the time it was announced, shortly after Abe’s death, but opinion has changed drastically.

Many opinion polls show that a majority of Japanese are now opposed to the ceremony, causing Kishida’s support to plummet. A poll conducted by the Mainichi Daily over the weekend put his support at 29%, down six percentage points from the end of August – a level that analysts say makes it difficult for a prime minister to win. enough support to carry out its agenda.

Mainichi said support for the LDP fell 6 points to 23%.

Kishida has repeatedly defended his decision, but the vast majority of voters remain unconvinced, also questioning the need for such an expensive ceremony at a time of growing economic growth for the country. with ordinary people.

The latest government cost estimate is 1.65 billion yen ($12 million), which includes security and reception.

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