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Shinzo Abe

Abe funeral honors fallen leader's legacy as thousands offer flowers

Opponents of state ceremony converge at protest near Diet

A portrait of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hangs on the stage during his state funeral at the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo on Sept. 27. (Pool photo)

TOKYO -- The state funeral for Japan's assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was held on Tuesday at the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo, as dignitaries from across Asia and the world gathered to bid farewell.

Under sunny skies, long lines formed at a site reserved for the public to offer floral tributes to a leader many remember for bringing the Olympics back to Tokyo and promoting a "free and open" Indo-Pacific region. Meanwhile, security was tight around the funeral venue, given the high-profile guest list as well as the controversy that surrounded the event, with polls showing it was deeply unpopular.

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