Highlights

  • Family holds private funeral for Shinzo Abe
  • Shinzo Abe was assassinated on Friday
  • Abe is Japan's longest serving prime minister

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Family says final goodbye to ex-Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in private funeral

Abe, the country's longest-serving prime minister who remained influential even after he stepped down two years ago, was gunned down Friday during a campaign speech in the western city of Nara.

Japanese bid their final goodbye to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday as a family funeral was held at a temple days after his assassination that shocked the nation.

Abe, the country's longest-serving prime minister who remained influential even after he stepped down two years ago, was gunned down Friday during a campaign speech in the western city of Nara.

Hundreds of people, some in formal dark suits, filled pedestrian walks outside of the Zojoji temple in downtown Tokyo to bid farewell to Abe, whose nationalistic views drove the governing party's ultraconservative policies.

Mourners waved, took photos on their smartphones, and some called out “Abe san!” as a motorcade including a hearse carrying his body, accompanied by his widow slowly drove by the packed crowd.

Akie Abe was seen lowering her head to the crowd.

Only she and other close family members, as well as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and senior party leaders, attended the funeral at the temple.

The hearse made a tour of Tokyo's main political headquarters of Nagata-cho, where Abe spent more than three decades since he was first elected in 1991.

It then drove slowly by the party headquarters, where senior party lawmakers in dark suits stood outside and prayed, before heading to the prime minister's office, where Abe served a total of nearly a decade.

Also watch: How Shinzo Abe transformed Indo-Japan ties

Kishida and his Cabinet members pressed their hands before their chest as they prayed and bowed to Abe's body inside before the hearse headed to a crematorium.

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