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Shinzo Abe

Japan allocates additional $9.9m for Abe's state funeral

Backlash expected as total costs greatly surpass initial announcement

A mourner offers flowers a week after the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the headquarters of the Liberal Democratic Party in Tokyo on July 15.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan said Tuesday it will allocate an additional 1.4 billion yen ($9.97 million) for the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to cover costs for security and the welcoming of foreign dignitaries, bringing the total price tag to 1.6 billion yen.

With opposition to Abe's state funeral growing, the government's decision to spend more than one-and-a-half billion yen of taxpayers' money on the event will trigger a strong backlash from the opposition bloc and among the public, observers said.

Late last month, the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said it will spend 249 million yen of taxpayer funds on the Sept. 27 funeral for Abe, who was fatally shot by a lone gunman during an election campaign speech in early July.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a news conference Tuesday that 800 million yen will be used for security and 600 million for arrangements to welcome foreign dignitaries expected to travel to Tokyo from around 50 countries.

Jun Azumi, Diet affairs chief of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, criticized the government, telling reporters that the total amount of costs for Abe's state funeral has "swelled" by more than six times the originally stated figure.

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