In a tense atmosphere, the state funeral in honor of slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began in Tokyo on Tuesday, a contested event that has deeply divided public opinion in Japan.
Widow Akie Abe, dressed in a black kimono, walked slowly into the budokan, or waiting hall, holding an urn of her husband’s ashes, placed in a wooden box and wrapped in a purple cloth with golden dashes.
The US vice-president, Kamala Harris, was among the many foreign officials and 4,300 participants.
Abe was celebrated in July after a private funeral held at a Tokyo temple, days after he was killed while campaigning in Nara, a city in western Japan.
Hours before the ceremony, several hundred people with bouquets lined up to lay flowers in his honor at Kudanzaka Park.
Tokyo was under high security as many citizens opposed to the burial came out to protest.