Japan said today it will provide an additional 1.4 billion yen ($9.97 million) to give former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a state burial. These funds will be used to cover the costs of guarding the event and welcoming foreign leaders. Thus, the total cost of the funeral will amount to more than 1.6 billion yen ($11.4 million), Kyodo reported.
Given the opposition to giving Abe a state funeral because of his divisive policies and the scandals surrounding him, the government’s decision to spend so much taxpayer money on the event will provoke a strong public backlash, observers say.
Last month, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government said it would spend ¥249 million on the September 27 funeral. Abe was shot by a gunman at a campaign rally in early July.
Kishida also said the full amount will be announced after the funeral because it will depend on how many foreign guests attend, but the government apparently felt compelled to announce the amount in advance because of the heated public debate, Kyodo noted.