Controversy over former Japan PM Shinzo Abe's state funeral: Explained

A man was taken to hospital unconscious near the office of Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday, AFP reported, adding that the man set himself alight after telling the police that he was opposed to plans for a state funeral for assassinated former prime minister Shinzo Abe . The state funeral has become a major controversy prompting protests in Japan. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was shot dead on July 8 by a gunman while he was campaigning. A private funeral for Abe was held in Tokyo.

Here’s everything you need to know about former Japan PM Shinzo Abe’s state funeral:

What is the controversy over Shinzo Abe’s state funeral?

Controversy about the decision erupted quickly as questions were raised on Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s decision-making. Despite Abe’s record-breaking tenure, the former Japanese Prime Minister was not universally popular in the country, AFP said in a report. Additionally, the funeral will cost around 1.7 billion yen ($12 million) according to Japan’s government which is far from the initial 250 million yen figure.

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How is Fumio Kishida responding to the controversy?

Japan Prime Minister Kishida has acknowledged the discontent about the state funeral, attempting to assuage public concerns but the support for the premier has been consistently falling down with protests being organized against the funeral.