Man who is likely to protest at former Japanese prime minister’s funeral self-immolates

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TOKYO — A man set a fire near the Japanese prime minister’s residence on Wednesday in apparent protest against the government’s decision to hold a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated earlier this year, media reported. .

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The man was taken to a hospital where he suffered burns all over his body, and a police officer who tried to extinguish the fire was also injured.

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A man in his 70s was unconscious when he was first found, but later told police he had been deliberately oiled, according to media reports. was nearby.

Police have refused to confirm the incident, which occurred on Abe’s 68th birthday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference, “I heard that the police found a man with burns near a public office, and I am aware that the police are investigating.”

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Abe, who resigned in 2020 due to ill health, was shot dead during an election rally on July 8. His state funeral is scheduled for his September 27th and is expected to be attended by around 6,000 people from home and abroad.

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Opposition to the event is mounting following revelations after Abe killed ties between the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), of which he was a powerful member, and the controversial Unification Church. The suspect said he felt the church had bankrupted his mother and the former prime minister was supporting it.

Links to the Unification Church, founded in South Korea in the 1950s, have become a major problem for current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the Liberal Democratic Party since they emerged after Abe’s murder. Earlier this month, the LDP said a survey showed that nearly half of its 379 lawmakers interacted with the church in some way.

When the state funeral was announced shortly after Prime Minister Abe’s death, public opinion barely supported a state funeral, but public opinion changed dramatically.

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Many polls now show a majority of Japanese people are against the ceremony, helping Kishida’s support plummet. The prime minister’s approval rating stands at 29%, down 6 percentage points since late August. This is the level at which analysts say it will be difficult for the prime minister to get enough support to carry out the agenda.

According to the Mainichi Shimbun, support for the Liberal Democratic Party fell six points to 23%.

Kishida has repeatedly defended his decision, but the majority of voters remain unconvinced of the need to hold such costly ceremonies at a time of growing economic distress among ordinary citizens. is also in doubt.

The latest government cost estimate is 1.65 billion yen ($12 million), including security and reception.

In 2014, two men set fires in separate incidents to protest Japan’s shift from postwar pacifism under Abe. One man died.

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Man who is likely to protest at former Japanese prime minister’s funeral self-immolates

Source link Man who is likely to protest at former Japanese prime minister’s funeral self-immolates

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