On July 12, the funeral service for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was held at Zojoji Temple in Minato Ward, Tokyo. Although it was a family funeral attended by close relatives, many dignitaries from the political and business worlds, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, were in attendance. Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, a close ally of Mr. Abe, read his eulogy.
“I thought you were supposed to read my eulogy,” he said.
and mourned the death of the deceased. His wife, Akie, served as the chief mourner. It has been only four days since her husband’s shocking death, and she, too, seems to be having trouble accepting the reality of the situation.
“In her address as a mourner, Akie said of Abe, ‘He was the kindest person I have ever known. He always protected me,’ she said. When the attendees laid flowers, Akie rubbed her cheek against Abe’s for several minutes as if to bid him farewell,” said an LDP official.
The casket was unveiled a little later than scheduled, a little after 2:30 pm. Akie sat in the front passenger seat of the hearse carrying the coffin, which made its way to the LDP headquarters in Nagatacho, the House of Representatives, and the Prime Minister’s official residence in turn. Akie, who was holding her husband’s tablet, looked exhausted and often slumped over.
At one point, Akie suddenly looked at something. From the passenger seat of her car, she was staring at the National Diet building. There appeared to be tears in her eyes. When she passed the Capitol, she began to slump down again and bow her head to people along the road. She was staring at the National Diet building for only a brief moment, but what was Akie thinking?
She was staring at the National Diet building for just a moment, but what was on her mind? However, Akie was often worried that Mr. Abe was being bombarded with questions from the opposition and other parties in the Diet during his time as prime minister. Of course, as prime minister, that was a duty that she absolutely had to fulfill, but she was concerned about the physical and mental strain on him. She once joked that her husband’s appearance at the Diet was too painful to watch TV. Perhaps such memories suddenly crossed her mind.
For now, we just want to pray for the repose of former Prime Minister Abe’s soul.
Photo by： Takeshi Kinugawa