Japanese man sets himself on fire in apparent protest at former PM state funeral: Media

TOKYO: A man set himself on fire near the Japanese prime minister’s office on Wednesday during a protest in apparent protest against the government’s decision to hold a state funeral for the former prime minister. Shinzo Abewho was assassinated earlier this year, TV Asahi reported.
The man was taken to hospital with full body burns, while a policeman trying to put out the fire was also injured, media said.
The media added that a letter protesting Prime Minister Abe’s state funeral was found nearby.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was shot down during a rally on July 8. His state funeral was set for September 27, with about 6,000 people from Japan and foreign countries will participate.
But opposition to the event has grown because of revelations after Abe killed the links between Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), of which he is a powerful, and controversial member Unity Church. The suspect in Abe’s death has said the church has bankrupted his mother and he feels the former prime minister supports that.
The association with the Unification Church, founded in Korea in the 1950s, has become a major issue for current Prime Minister Fumio. Kishida and the LDP since they emerged after the murder of Abe. The LDP earlier this month said a survey found that nearly half of 379 lawmakers have some form of interaction with the church.
The public was largely in favor of a state funeral at the time it was announced, shortly after Abe’s death, but opinion has changed drastically.
Many opinion polls show that a majority of Japanese are now opposed to the ceremony, causing Kishida’s support to plummet. A poll of Mainichi Daily taken over the weekend showed his support at 29%, down six percentage points from the end of August – a level that analysts say makes it difficult for a prime minister to have enough support to do so. its agenda.
Mainichi said support for the LDP fell 6 points to 23%.
Kishida has repeatedly defended his decision, but the vast majority of voters remain unconvinced, also questioning the need for such an expensive ceremony in a time of growing economic fortitude. with ordinary people.
The latest government cost estimate is 1.65 billion yen ($12 million), which includes security and reception.

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