A dignified farewell should transcend politics

On Tuesday, I attended the state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Regardless of controversies over the ceremonial occasion, I had determined that morning that I need to act with widespread sense and decency as a citizen of this nation, and transcend private friendships, political positions or creeds.

The mainstream Japanese media was sharply divided. The liberal Asahi, Mainichi and Tokyo newspapers every carried editorials titled “Abe’s ‘State Funeral’ Deepens Divide at Prime Minister’s Discretion,” “Heavy Lesson from Memorial with out Consensus,” and “Confirm ‘Abe Politics’ after Divisive State Funeral.” All criticized the state funeral for having no nationwide consensus.

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