The Japanese government is planning to hold a state funeral in late September for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was fatally shot earlier this month on the campaign trail, a government source said Tuesday.
The state funeral is expected to be held at Nippon Budokan in central Tokyo, the source said, adding that the Cabinet will make a decision on the matter soon.
The upcoming funeral will be fully funded by the government.
Abe stayed in office for eight years and eight months until he stepped down in 2020 due to ill health, making him the country's longest-serving prime minister. Touting the late Abe's leadership, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a press conference last week that the government will hold a state funeral for him in the fall.
A state funeral for a Japanese national leader is rare. The last time the country held such a memorial was in 1967 for Shigeru Yoshida, who served as prime minister as the country rose from the ashes of World War II.
Abe was praised at home and abroad as a leader who helped raise Japan's profile by expanding its security role while reviving the economy through his signature "Abenomics" policy mix.
But the Japanese public is apparently divided on the idea of holding a state funeral, as the conservative leader also faced criticism and was mired in a spate of scandals, including allegations of favoritism.
Abe was shot dead during a stump speech in the western city of Nara on July 8 shortly before Sunday's House of Councillors election. The assassination shocked the country known for its strict gun control and low level of political violence.