Majaliwa bids farewell to departed Shinzo, consoles Fumio

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has joined more than 700 world leaders from different countries and international organizations to bid farewell to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a state funeral in Tokyo, Japan, yesterday.

The statement issued to the media yesterday indicated that the leaders arrived in Tokyo from 195 different countries and 23 organisations.

Mr Majaliwa, who represents President Samia Suluhu Hassan in the ceremony, paid his last respects at the Nippon Budokan Hall accompanied by his wife Mary Majaliwa, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Ambassador Mbarouk Nassoro Mbarouk, Tanzania’s Ambassador to Japan, Baraka Luvanda, and his wife Consolata Luvanda.

After paying his last respects, Mr Majaliwa headed to Tokyo’s Akasaka Palace to console Fumio Kishida, the nation’s prime minister, and Akie Abe, Abe’s widow.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo were among foreign dignitaries who attended the funeral.

In the course, members of the public stood in a long queue to lay flowers at a nearby park.

In his speech, Kishida talked about Abe’s legacy — how he spearheaded the upgrading of the Defense Agency to a ministry and proposed the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy,” and established the “Quad” security dialogue, which groups the United States, India, Australia and Japan in a bloc.

“I will be forever proud of myself for being able to focus on expanding the horizon of Japan’s diplomacy, as foreign minister in your Cabinet, and as your friend who lived through the same era,” Kishida said of Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister.

Kishida recalled a remark by Abe who said he liked being prime minister to the process of producing forged steel — saying that a leader must be hit again and again to be strong.

“Before you became prime minister once again at the end of 2012, you had worked to make yourself into stronger forged steel,” he said, referring to how Abe stepped down as leader in 2007 for health reasons but eventually took the reins for a second time.

Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister resigned in 2020, citing poor health, but remained influential until he was shot dead while making an election campaign speech in the western city

In July, Abe was shot dead while he was campaigning in the Upper House election, with the alleged shooter claiming he held a grudge against Abe after the former leader sent a supportive message to a group tied to the controversial Unification Church. The suspect said his mother had bankrupted the family due to excessive donations to the group.

Related Articles

Back to top button