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Photo courtesy of Chambre des Députés

Thousands of people, including former and current world leaders, are expected to gather today in Japan as the country holds a rare state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July while campaigning for a candidate. Public opinion about the state funeral for the longest-serving prime minister has been split, with criticism against the estimated $12M cost for the ceremony as households grapple with rising food and fuel prices. 

Before World War II, state funerals in Japan traditionally had been reserved for members of the imperial family and those who made exceptional contributions to the country (see history). Since then, only one other prime minister, Shigeru Yoshida, was honored by a state funeral in 1967. Yoshida is widely credited for setting Japan’s postwar trajectory, including ending the US occupation of Japan. His funeral cost about $400K, adjusting for inflation. 

See an overview of Abe’s career here and a guide to the state funeral here.