Japan will spend approximately 1.65 billion yen ($16 million) on the scheduled state burial for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to a revised estimate released by the government on Tuesday (September 6). This estimate includes security and reception expenditures.
Late in August, the government agreed to a more modest budget of 250 million yen for the funeral but was afterward criticized for approving a sum that was thought unrealistic because it did not include large expenditures for security and VIP hospitality.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno revealed that the government now estimates the cost of security for the burial to be over 800 million yen. The cost of receiving foreign delegations will be around 600 million yen.
In response to a question regarding whether the overall cost of the state funeral would be approximately 1.7 billion yen, he stated, "If we were to give a simplified estimate, I guess the total would be close to what you said,"
On September 27, in the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo, approximately 6,000 attendees are anticipated for the ceremony. According to Matsuno, these guests include more than 190 foreign delegations, of which about 50 are expected to comprise VIPs holding the rank of head of state. During a July election rally, Abe was shot and killed.
The opposition to a taxpayer-funded service for Abe, Japan's longest-serving but extremely polarizing prime minister, has continued and worsened by discoveries of his and other governing party members' ties to the controversial Unification Church. Simultaneously, Fumio Kishida's approval rating has declined.
Matsuno stated, "We decided to give this estimation in accordance with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's bid to be thorough about clarifying the details."
Local media have reported that Abe's alleged murderer told investigators he had a grievance against the religious sect, which is notorious for its mass marriages and aggressive fund-raising tactics, and that he felt Abe had ties to the group.
In a survey done by the Yomiuri newspaper earlier this month, 56% of respondents opposed the state funeral, while 38% supported it.