Tokyo: A man set himself on fire near the Japanese prime minister’s office in Tokyo on Wednesday to protest plans for a funeral next week for former leader Shinzo Abe, officials and media reports said.
According to the Kyodo News Agency report, the 70-year-old man had burns on a large part of his body, but was conscious and told police that he set himself on fire after pouring oil on himself.
A note was found from him that read, “Personally, I am absolutely against” Abe’s funeral, Kyodo reported.
A Tokyo Fire Department official confirmed that a man set himself on fire on a street in Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki Government District and was alive when he was taken to hospital by ambulance, but more details including the person’s identity, motive or status. declined to provide details. , citing the sensitivity of what the police matter was.
Police called it an attempted suicide and declined to divulge further details as there was no criminal intent involved in the case. Police also declined to comment on a report that a police officer had been caught in the fire.
The incident underscores a growing wave of protests against the funeral of Abe, one of the most divisive leaders in post-war Japanese politics, because of his revisionist outlook of wartime history, support for a strong military, and critics. Calls an autocratic approach and cronyism. , More protests are expected in the coming days, including on the day of the funeral next week.
It is also an embarrassment for the police, which have beefed up security for an event that is expected to be attended by around 6,000 people, including US Vice President Kamala Harris and other dignitaries.
Police were also partly to blame for inadequate security for Abe, who was shot dead by a gunman who was giving an outdoor campaign speech in July.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is in New York for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly of World Leaders. He made a speech on Tuesday expressing disappointment over the failure of the Security Council to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to Russia’s permanent veto and called for reforms that would allow the United Nations to better protect global peace and order. .
The planned state funeral for Abe has become increasingly unpopular among the Japanese as more information has emerged about the governing Liberal Democratic Party and Abe’s links to the Unification Church, which has held talks with party lawmakers over their shared interests in the conservative cause. Build close relationships.
Abe’s murder suspect reportedly believed his mother’s large donations to the church ruined his family. The LDP has stated that nearly half of its MPs have ties to the church, but party officials have denied links between the party as an organization and the church.
Kishida has said that Abe deserves the honor of a state funeral as Japan’s longest-serving leader since World War II and for his diplomatic and economic achievements.
Critics have said it was decided undemocratic and is an unfair and costly use of taxpayer money. They say that Kishida decided to hold a state funeral to appease Abe’s party faction and consolidate his power. Support ratings for Kishida’s government have weakened amid public discontent over the party’s handling of church ties and funeral plans.
Abe’s family funeral was held in July at a Buddhist temple. A state funeral is scheduled for next Tuesday at the Budokan martial arts area in Tokyo.