politics

The controversy over Abe's state funeral

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By Kyoko HASEGAWA and Sara HUSSEIN

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Come out, march, protest...

There will be a state funeral for Abe San..

Like it or not..

-28 ( +5 / -33 )

Unbelievably costing more than the Queen’s funeral.

Someone is making money here

29 ( +46 / -17 )

TokyoLivingToday  06:38 am JST

Come out, march, protest...

There will be a state funeral for Abe San..

Like it or not..

You like it, presumably. Can't imagine why.

17 ( +26 / -9 )

Nobody in Japan needs to be told why this is ‘controversial’ at all!

We all know.

Politicians in Japan just don’t seem to get it….

17 ( +26 / -9 )

is absurd! Abe Shinzo created problems, use your money even for those little Covid 19 masks, he wasted our money! The government should respect our will "we the people" without our taxes there are no politicians "politicians !!! this funeral is a waste of money! If Abe Shinzo were alive, everyone will hate him and all those bad politicians who are connected with that Koean Church scam! Thieves and frauds! All in jail !!!

10 ( +30 / -20 )

The funeral will cost around 1.7 billion yen, according to the government. That is vastly more than the initial 250 million yen figure mooted by the government, which excluded costs for security and hosting foreign dignitaries.

Just like everything else the government states when talking about money. Finding an excuse for increasing the costs. Whomever came up with the first estimate should be fired! But then this was all probably planned in the first place to get people "warmed up" to the idea of the memorial!

Lowball the estimate, pay double, triple or more, and then apologize later for "unforeseen costs" and problems.

13 ( +28 / -15 )

It’s not the state funeral people are against, they only turned against it when the corruption and cost surrounding it became public. The funeral was put out for contract, only one company applied and it happened to be a company with connections to Abe & Kishida. Only one company so they can name their price…and they did. You’d have thought they’d make more effort to conceal their corruption.

22 ( +29 / -7 )

there is no law in JAPAN that support this funeral

Just as there was no law to "allow" the previous Emperor to abdicate. He could have done it any way he wanted, and no one could have stopped it, but Abe & Co. created a "law"

Kishida can do it, without any "law", there is no need for any legislation here to do it, it's just adding more bureaucratic BS.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

I read an article on the BBC that this funeral will cost more than the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. That is an absolute joke. Even though I dont agree with the idea of monarchy, Queen Elizabeth achieved so much in her lifetime as a diplomat, and as you can probably tell from the queues of people waiting to pay their respects, was loved by the masses. Mr Abe represents everything wrong with politics in Japan. He was a crony through and through. This funeral is the icing on the cake.

16 ( +28 / -12 )

Someone is definitely pocketing a huge amount of money from this.

And only a single bidder in the tender to organize the event, one with longstanding ties to Abe and his cronies.

20 ( +27 / -7 )

Clever sign with the Ghostbusters Abe's face logo

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

@Tokyo Like it or not..

Once again defending authoritarianism, saying common people should just obey the overlords.

9 ( +20 / -11 )

Someone is definitely pocketing a huge amount of money from this.

You can bet your bottom dollar.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

swindle and cheat and be marred with various scandals and you get a state funeral??

go figure

-6 ( +22 / -28 )

The LDP is so old and corrupt this kinda scandal is inevitable for them.

4 ( +16 / -12 )

If Kishida goes through with this, I hope that this proves the tipping point opens a new age of protest againt this sort of corruption, lies and ineptitude.

Costing more than the Queen's funeral is beyond disgusting.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

“ Yamamoto says the funeral has become controversial for two main reasons: Questions around Kishida's decision-making... (and) the issues around the Unification Church and its links to the LDP. “

Incomplete. We are gonna pay 2 billion yen for something that is based on a lie. A political decision. We all know that Abe Shinzo doesn’t deserve it. We didn’t ask for it. The parliament didn’t vote for it. And

” "His state funeral is, in a way, used by his political foes as a weapon to galvanise their bases." “

The whole thing is just embarrassing, especially after witnessing The Queen’s state funeral.

..

“ National broadcaster NHK found 38 percent of respondents were against the plan in July, but by August that figure had grown to 57 percent. “

The real number is seventy percent. Ten percent doesn’t care and twenty percent is brainwashed.

-1 ( +16 / -17 )

The authors write that people are against the funeral for two reasons, the Unification church and Kishida's way of forcing the state funeral on the country. But it is all about Abe! The people know how corrupt he was with the myriad of scandals, croynism, and utter lack of respect or feeling for the people of Japan. His three arrows were a joke, made to line the pockets of his corporate overlords. That is the real reason people are against this.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

The government is clearly choosing to put a show for the international community sacrificing their political funds inside of the country. They are betting on the people to (again) forget things by the time elections are held. This may not be the case, and the value of the funeral is now much reduced since it will inevitably compared with the much more important one of Queen Elizabeth II. I is now a bet that may become very costly and will bring not much benefits.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

This travesty of democracy is Kishida's "Art of the Steal" while the bilking of taxpayers is straight out of the bog-standard LDP playbook, "The Art of the Grift". And Abe's pals are laughing all the way to the bank at the dupes who'll vote for them again in Japan's "Groundhog Day" elections.

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

Abe wasn't good enough for a 1st Rate Security team but now he rates a "state funeral". I love Japan and I'm extremely happy with my life here but the Govt. sometimes feels like it is run by Media Influencers concerned with appearances more than the law and proper precedent.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

Someone is making money here

Dentsu

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Kishida loves to spend the taxes on money for this funeral as well as massive amounts to Ukraine…neither of which has a financial return!

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

In the spirit of not kicking a guy when he is down ( dead ), still find the vitriol animosity and emotions against the slain leaders funeral completely distasteful and quite surprising. Ok, Kishida made a gaff of it with his bumbling of the costs, ( he won’t be around long ) but that still doesn’t change the fact that Abe was shot in the back and was the longest serving PM in Japanese history.

Really didn’t think people were that dark. Speaks volumes actually.

These protestors need to get a life. The dude that set himself alight? Really? Pure insanity.

-10 ( +11 / -21 )

Why do all of these politicians that are coming for the state funeral just stay at their own embassies? Why do they need to be put up in 5 star hotels on our dime! It would be far more secure for them to stay there. I'm sure the US embassy has tons of space. The entourge that comes with them, they can stay at a APA hotel!

0 ( +8 / -8 )

"He is seen as the nemesis" by some in Japan, said Kazuhisa Kawakami, a political psychology professor at Reitaku University. "His state funeral is, in a way, used by his political foes as a weapon to galvanise their bases."

Err, the CDPJ was silent for so long (most likely because some of them had ties to the Moonies), the DP had its very own leader (Tamaki) having ties to the Moonies, Isshin has pretty much half their representatives in bed with the Moonies, which basically only leaves the JCP and Shamin. Support for the JCP hoovers at around 3% while support for Shamin around 1%. On the other hand around 60% oppose the funeral. It's obvious that beyond supported of the JCP and Shamin, the opposition is overwhelmingly grass-rooted and comes from the public.

The reason being as stated below:

Abe was also far from universally popular in Japan, despite his record-breaking tenure. His nationalist views and persistent allegations he was involved in cronyism engendered deep-seated antipathy towards him.

Abe's "popularity" was a short-lived one trick poney (Abenomics). After 3 years or so, when the public understood that they were being taken for fools was he just being "tolerated". When then his endless conveyor belt of scandals started did he grow increasingly unpopular and ultimately the public was relieved to see his back in 2020. Abe's 8-year tenure generated short-lived hope, impatience, irritation and ultimately anger.

In less than one year has Kishida managed to corner himself in the same spot as Abe after a few years:

.nobody is expecting much from his even shorter-lived one trick poney (new capitalism)

.gone are the days were he was waving his little green/blue/don't recall the color booklet with his notes on "what the public wanted" and just started to shove something they would never accept (the funeral) down their throats, pretty much like Abe ramming unpopular laws and policies through parliament

.he has to deal with a truckload of scandals (arguably the Moonie one is not of his of his making but it doesn't really matter), amongst which Kishida has added a slate of funeral-related ones all by himself

Kishida's 1-year on the job generated short-lived hope, impatience, irritation and ultimately anger. At best, he will remain a lame duck, at worst, he's already finished. Whoever may be the next PM (Kono?) is irrelevant, he will face the same impatience, offer pretty much the no-go solutions and will ultimately last not longer.

The LDP has nothing of value to offer and hasn't over the lack few decades. Now, if only public anger would translate into concret votes at elections, we may be going somewhere. It maybe unknown territory, but it can only be better than having the country die of LDP-fuelled political cancer. But again, I'm not holding my breath.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Ricky Kaminski13Today  08:57 am JST

...but that still doesn’t change the fact that Abe was shot in the back...

That fact on its own does not mean anything.

...was the longest serving PM in Japanese history.

In his record-breaking tenure what did he accomplish? I just remember corruption scandals.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

The authors write that people are against the funeral for two reasons, the Unification church and Kishida's way of forcing the state funeral on the country. But it is all about Abe! The people know how corrupt he was with the myriad of scandals, croynism, and utter lack of respect or feeling for the people of Japan. His three arrows were a joke, made to line the pockets of his corporate overlords. That is the real reason people are against this.

THIS!

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

with all the things wrong with japan, this is what people protest and march about? Really, who cares? Not anyone I know.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Simon, we need more spine and less whine.

Beautiful day out there folks. It aint gunna get any better, so get out and enjoy. Like the Olympics, once the dignitaries arrive and pay their respects we might see things quiet right down.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

From the BBC News website:

When Tokyo-based event organiser Murayama was revealed as the only bidder - and therefore the winner of the 176m yen contract - for the state funeral, eyebrows were raised as it was the company Mr Abe used to host an annual cherry blossom party where he faced allegations of cronyism.

The contract was 176M yen. The most recent bill is 1.8 BILLION. That's 100 times more than the contract promised. And it's all going to the crooked firm that crooked Abe was cosied up with for decades, before being divvied up in brown envelopes to the usual larcenous LDP old boys in hostess bars.

Abe must be smiling from beyond the grave. "That's it lads. Bilk those taxpayers any way you can. That's what they're for".

They're not even trying to hide their contempt for us.

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

Being an American I can't understand how anyone would deny a former president a state funeral. It's as if the Japanese have no respect for the office if not the man. I felt that Abe was the greatest president Japan ever had compared to these snifflers of late. He was/is the only president anyone in the world could name. Disrespecting the office of president is disrespecting your country.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Costing more than the Queen's funeral is beyond disgusting.

It's Japan! Everything costs more..... damn near quite literally too!

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

I felt that Abe was the greatest president Japan ever had compared to these snifflers of late. He was/is the only president anyone in the world could name. Disrespecting the office of president is disrespecting your country.

So do you have respect for Prime Minister Biden? Be nice if people commenting would at least get the leader's name right. Granted one time, I might understand, but you are disrespecting the office of the PM here by referring to him as the "president".

Your "feelings" are a bit off if you feel that Abe was the greatest PM ever. Pray tell, share with everyone here ONE thing he did that wasnt an act?

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Abenomics saved Japan's economy in 2012. He also revamped the military. If Abe were still president Japan would have moved past Covid a year ago.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Correction, Prime Minister, same thing.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

To Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his ilk, the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must appear large enough as to be given a state funeral. A dramatic and tragic ending of his life while giving a speech on a campaign trail amplified that image even more

But, as political scientist Yoshinobu Yamamoto says, it's too late to voice opposition to the state funeral of Abe, which is scheduled on Tuesday. Notwithstanding, one can keep criticizing him for his servile pro-U.S. stance on all security matters during his stint as prime minister.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emmanuel said Thursday that he and other U.S. dignitaries would attend the funeral with this in mind – Abe was the most U.S.-friendly prime minister in recent years. Considering Abe's great contribution to the U.S., attending at his state funeral by Vice Present Kamala Harris and Ambassador Immanuel may not be enough. President Joe Biden should be there.                    

The only solution for the Futenma issue is to close the Marine base now and forever with no condition attached. Sit-ins by protesters against the relocation marked 3,000 days yesterday, according to local newspapers, and yet the landfill work at Henoko is being forged ahead, which Abe had originally sanctioned in sympathy with the U.S. government and in complete disregard of Okinawa's voice.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

There’s no real controversy here ! 3 x Prime Minister…. Highly respected at home and abroad! If he was so controversial, he would not have been elected 3 times …. The 2nd and 3rd after resigning the 1st time … the Japanese kept re-electing him… not the foreigners fabricating stories here !

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

If Abe were still president Japan would have moved past Covid a year ago.

Lol, he was PM literally during the first year of the pandemic. All he did was unpredictably close schools, oversee the unscientific, xenophobic, inefficient border closures and suppression of testing and send eye patches as mask that mostly arrived after the first serious wave subsided.

Just the hero we needed at times of hardship! He couldn't move past 1952, let alone Covid.

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

Ricky Kaminski13Today  10:32 am JST

Simon, we need more spine and less whine.

I have no idea what that means, except that you can't answer the question.

JosephToday  11:26 am JST

Abenomics saved Japan's economy in 2012.

How come it's so stagnant and moribund now then?

He also revamped the military. 

Doing ordinary people absolutely no good whatsover.

Steven MccarthyToday  11:45 am JST

There’s no real controversy here ! 3 x Prime Minister…. Highly respected at home and abroad!

Barely tolerated, more like.

If he was so controversial, he would not have been elected 3 times …. The 2nd and 3rd after resigning the 1st time … the Japanese kept re-electing him…

No, he got re-elected by about a quarter of the electorate every time because of a chronically weak opposition and because the LDP are very good at gaming the election system.

... not the foreigners fabricating stories here !

What stories would those be?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Many in the LDP wish to make it sound like Abe died as a martyr and they see this state funeral as the first step in his canonization.

It would not surprise me in the least to hear is one day worshipped as "St. Abe of the Moonies."

In the meanwhile, Kishida seems to have given up on his job from Day One and either doesn't know what to do or is completely apathetic. Guess this is his definition of 聞く力.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

tooheysnewToday  06:44 am JST

Unbelievably costing more than the Queen’s funeral.

Someone is making money here

Isn't a private funeral enough?

GodanToday  01:25 pm JST

Many in the LDP wish to make it sound like Abe died as a martyr and they see this state funeral as the first step in his canonization.

It would not surprise me in the least to hear is one day worshipped as "St. Abe of the Moonies."

The Moonies are supposed to be just a church, which is supposed to be seperate from the state. they need to MYOB, but since they're a CULT they can't.

And having a state funeral for Abe would be similar to recognizing the Moonies as legit, which they AIN'T.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Wasted money while in power and wasting money after dying.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I spoke with a few of the "natives", they were concerned that the Govt. was paying for the "State Funeral". And as I thought about it I realized that is a totally BS reason to be concerned. Where were all these "concerned" people that were worried about the budget when Japan rang up year after year of massive federal deficits. It was OK when the Govt. introduced stimulus package after stimulus package that went to corporations and ultimately benefitted millions that would have otherwise been forced to retrain themselves in a way that would probably have been more productive to Japan overall. But no... they wanted the status quo and their socialistic protective measures. And now, when the money isn't being spent on them they cry foul. Grow up Japan... take some responsibility for your actions!

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

What do the LDP and Moonies have in common? They are sneaky about how to get money for whatever they want. The Moonies deal in so-called spiritual sales and thus have made scores of people go broke, including the fellow who shot Abe. The LDP will pluck over a billion yen of our tax money for Abe's funeral without legislative approval. More money will be spent on Abe funeral than was spent on Queen Elizabeth's funeral--as everyone know.

What will happen after Abe funeral? If nothing happens Japan will be in big trouble. The LDP and its "spiritual" associates could become more arrogant and more totalitarian.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Controversy? There is no controversy. Abe was a corrupt politician with numerous documented scandals. The LDP want to use his funeral as a party political tool. The majority of the population are against it.

I won't be shedding any tears. Showing respect is all very good for his private family funeral but this is on the public purse so we all have a right to our view on this.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

I’m still very grieved about his untimely death. He was a heroic figure.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

This fiasco unfortunately is putting Japan in bad light. Is there anyone who thinks Abe will receive any dignity as people gather outside protesting? Do you think he could rest in peace among all the cacophonous displeasure of the people?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I'm just glad Abe isn't here anymore.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The people can protest all they want. It won't amount to anything because J-gov will continue to do as they please.

Also, didn't Abe pass in like July? It's practically October now; does it take that long to organize a state funeral in Japan or is moving at a glacial pace part and parcel of planning a state funeral in Japan? When Her Late Majesty passed, everything was done and dusted within a few weeks of her passing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Simon …. You’re infatuation with the unification church and Kishida’s approval ratings is well … strange …. Abe promised and delivered free preschool and kindergarten tuition so working parents could work …. Abe pushed through free healthcare for children …. Never started a single military conflict … yet is called a war monger …. Scandals ? Without googles help …. Name scandals that are directly about Abe…. Not a cabinet member…. I’m yet to meet a single Japanese National who has all this vitriol hatred for the most popular Prime Minister ever ….

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Never started a single military conflict … yet is called a war monger

One of his main ambitions was changing the constitution so that Japan could fight even when not attacked. This ambition was passed down to him by his grandfather, a war criminal and vehement opponent of Article 9 when the constitution was implemented. The fact that he failed may have been a reason why he didn't start a conflict.

Name scandals that are directly about Abe

Sakura viewing voter buying, Moritomo Gakuen (his wife, tbh), his muzzling of the press isn't treated as a scandal but should, well-documented ties with organised crime

I’m yet to meet a single Japanese National who has all this vitriol hatred for the most popular Prime Minister ever

I've met many. Some of them took to the streets in the last few days.

Whatever your reason for admiring him is, ignoring his bad side isn't going to right the many wrongs he is responsible for.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

The only solution for the Futenma issue is to close the Marine base now and forever with no condition attached. Sit-ins by protesters against the relocation marked 3,000 days yesterday, according to local newspapers, and yet the landfill work at Henoko is being forged ahead, which Abe had originally sanctioned in sympathy with the U.S. government and in complete disregard of Okinawa's voice.

Keep dreaming!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Steven MccarthyToday  05:08 pm JST

Simon …. You’re infatuation

I'm infatuation?

with the unification church and Kishida’s approval ratings is well … strange ….

No, I think my views on the topic are pretty much the same as most other commenters here.

Abe promised and delivered free preschool and kindergarten tuition so working parents could work …. Abe pushed through free healthcare for children ….

Good, but not enough to show for eight years of undisputed control of the government.

Never started a single military conflict … yet is called a war monger …. Scandals ? Without googles help …. Name scandals that are directly about Abe…. Not a cabinet member….

You haven't answered the question about the "fabricated stories."

I’m yet to meet a single Japanese National who has all this vitriol hatred for the most popular Prime Minister ever ….

Who you have and haven't met is immaterial. Claim whatever you like about the opinions of people you know or whatever, you have no way of backing it up.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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