Up to 6,000 guests to be invited to Japanese state funeral

NHK has obtained the Japanese government's draft outline of procedures for the state funeral of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

The government-funded event will be held at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on September 27. It will start at 2 p.m.

The draft plan says up to around 6,000 guests are expected, with invitations to be sent out in stages from the beginning of September.

The guests will include the heads of Japan's Lower and Upper Houses, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Diet lawmakers and local government representatives.

Numerous foreign dignitaries will also be invited, along with leaders of business and other fields.

Under the plan, the public will be invited to place flowers at an altar outside Nippon Budokan from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the day of the state funeral.

The government plans to formalize the outline following discussions at a secretariat consisting of senior officials of relevant ministries and agencies.

Abe was fatally shot while giving a campaign speech for his party's Upper House election candidate in western Japan in July.

The state funeral will be only the second one for a former prime minister in postwar Japan. The previous one was for Yoshida Shigeru, who died in 1967.