The Japanese government said Tuesday it will allocate an additional 1.4 billion yen for the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to cover security costs and welcome foreign dignitaries, bringing the total price tag to over 1.6 billion yen.
Late last month, the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said it will spend 249 million yen on the Sept. 27 funeral for Abe.
Kishida said at the time that the total cost would be publicized after the funeral as it would vary depending on the number of foreign guests joining the event, but the government apparently felt compelled to announce the figure in advance in consideration of intense public debate over the event.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press 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.
Kishida reiterated Thursday that holding a state funeral for former leader Shinzo Abe is "appropriate," given his achievements as the country's longest-serving premier.
Meanwhile, some opposition parties have expressed their intention to boycott the funeral.
Kishida's decision to hold the state funeral has been questioned, with Abe's divisive political stances and a series of scandals linked to him cited in addition to the massive amount of taxpayers' money to be used for the event. Some opposition parties have criticized Abe's nationalistic views on history and security, with the Japanese Communist Party saying it will boycott the state funeral that it claims is unconstitutional.
Disapproval of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's cabinet edged above 40% for the first time, propelled by doubts over whether his ruling party would ever be free of ties to the Unification Church, according to a public opinion poll.
According to a survey by the Yomiuri Shimbun daily, disapproval of Kishida's cabinet rose to 41% from 34% roughly a month ago, climbing over 40% for the first time since he took office last year.
Opposition to the funeral for Abe, which will be fully paid for by the government, climbed to 56% from 46% a month ago.
Petitions signed by 404,258 people demanding the cancellation of the state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were submitted to the Cabinet Office on Sept. 5. Excluding duplicates, 280,000 signatures were collected. Almost all public opinion polls of major newspapers and TV networks show that opponents of Abe’s state funeral outnumber supporters.