Nakasone remembered in joint funeral service

Japan's Cabinet and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party held a joint funeral service for former Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro, who died last November at the age of 101.

About 650 people, including Crown Prince and Crown Princess Akishino, the Lower House speaker, the Upper House president and former prime ministers, attended the event at a hotel in Tokyo on Saturday.

It had been postponed since March due to the pandemic, and the number of participants, who were socially distanced from each other, was limited to reduce the risk of infection.

After participants offered silent prayers, Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide praised Nakasone for achieving a series of administrative reforms, including the privatizations of the national railway, the telegraph and telephone public corporation and the salt and tobacco public corporation.

He said Nakasone also strengthened Japan's ties with the United States and other countries, and greatly raised Japan's profile in the international community.

Suga said he will work to take over Nakasone's spirit of reform and pledged to make all-out efforts to engage in state affairs.