TOKYO, September 22. /TASS/. Special Representative of the Russian President for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoy is expected to attend former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s state funeral on September 27, the Japanese Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.
"So far, we have received messages of intention to attend the ceremony from representatives of 217 countries, regions and international organizations," Japan’s Foreign Ministry said. Shvydkoy’s name is listed as a Russian guest.
Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, said on Thursday 35 foreign leaders and 14 former heads of state would be present. Among other people, the partial list of guests published by Japan’s MFA earlier on Thursday, also includes US Vice President Kamala Harris, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian PM Anthony Albanese, President of the European Council Charles Michel, Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau, as well as several former politicians, including ex-UK Prime Minister Theresa May and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Not a single Chinese official has been invited.
Meanwhile, Taiwan, mentioned among regions, will be represented by the head of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association.
Ex-premier Abe was assassinated on July 8 while speaking at an election campaign event. On July 12, a private funeral service was held at the Zojo-ji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, attended by Abe’s family, friends and allies. The former prime minister was cremated. The decision to hold the state funeral on September 27 was made by the government to commemorate Abe’s services to the country, a move that drew criticism from a significant portion of the population who disagree with conclusions made by the authorities on Abe’s contribution to the country’s development and are angered by the fact that the ceremony would be funded from the state coffers. The state funeral will be held at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan, not far from the Imperial Palace, with up to 6,000 attendees.