Shinzo Abe: Man burns himself in protest of state funeral for slain Japan PM. Japan

A man set himself on fire near Japan’s prime minister’s office, apparently at a protest next week state funeral For the former Prime Minister of the country Shinzo Abe,

The man, who has not been named, was initially unconscious and had burns all over his body since the incident in Tokyo on Wednesday morning, less than a week before the controversial dispatch for Abe, who was Shot dead In July.

Opposition to the September 27 state funeral has grown since Abe’s death triggered revelations about the Liberal Democratic Party’s ties with the Unification Church, whose members are colloquially known as Moonies. .

Media reports said the protester, who is in his 70s, regained consciousness and told police that he had drowned himself in oil before setting it on fire. A note in which he said he “strongly opposed” the funeral was found near the scene.

The Kyodo news agency and other outlets said police were called to the scene around 7 a.m. after reports that someone was “engulfed in flames”. Media reports said a police officer who put out the fire was also injured.

Tetsuya Yamagami, who is suspected to have shot and killed Abe with a home-made gun on July 8, has reportedly told investigators that he targeted the politician because of his ties to the Unification Church.

Yamagami said his family was fell into poverty 20 years ago when his mother, a church member, donated a large sum of money to the organization.

Abe was not a member of the church, but sent one congratulation video message To a colleague’s event last year. A recent poll by the ruling party of its 379 lawmakers found that nearly half had some form of contact with the Unification Church.

The church was founded in South Korea in 1954 by the self-proclaimed Messiah sun myung moonencouraged to establish a presence in Japan By Abe’s grandfather and post-war prime minister, Nobusuke Kishi, as a counter to communism and trade unionism. The organization, known for mass weddings, has been accused of coercing believers into giving donations they cannot afford – claims it has denied.

Revelations of ties between Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmakers and the church dominated the domestic news agenda for weeks and strongly opposed the use of taxpayer money for Abe’s funeral.

scam has happened damaged The prime minister, Fumio Kishida, who announced his support for a state funeral within days of Abe’s death. A Mainichi Shimbun poll conducted over the weekend showed support for Kishida at 29%, down six percentage points from late August.

Earlier this month the government said the cost of the service at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo would be At least 1.7bn ($12m), with most of the money going to a massive security campaign. A Kyodo news agency poll released on Sunday found that 60.8% opposed the ceremony, while 38.5% expressed support. More than 75% said the government was spending “too much” on funerals.

Foreign guests are expected to include the US Vice President, Kamala Harris and the Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. In all, around 6,000 people are expected to attend.

But many current and former leaders will not be in attendance, including Barack Obama, who accompanied Abe in 2016 when he was sworn in. First US President to visit Hiroshima,

The man who set himself on fire on Wednesday is not the first to use self-immolation in a protest involving Abe, a conservative whose legacy has inspired both warm tributes and sobriety. sharp criticism,

In 2014, two men set themselves on fire in separate incidents protesting the planned introduction security law Critics said it marked Japan’s reckless departure from post-war pacifism. One of the men died.

Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, Abe, resigned in 2020 citing ill health, but was shot dead while delivering an election campaign speech in the western city of Nara.

with Reuters

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