The Japanese government on Monday honoured former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was gunned down Friday in the city of Nara, with the Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, the nation’s highest decoration.

Iran PressAsia: A wake was held later Monday for Abe, the nation’s longest serving prime minister, at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and other lawmakers attending. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who is on a visit to Japan, also attended the ceremony, a Treasury official said.

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako sent flowers and dispatched a chamberlain to burn incense at the wake, according to Kenji Ikeda, vice grand steward of the Imperial Household Agency.

Abe is the fourth former prime minister to receive the decoration under the postwar Constitution, after Shigeru Yoshida, Eisaku Sato and Yasuhiro Nakasone. He has additionally been honored with the Junior First Rank of Court, the Cabinet Office said.

Ikeda said at a news conference that he has the impression the imperial couple may be feeling extremely sorry and heartbroken about Abe’s death, and concerned about the bereaved family.

Abe was in office when the emperor ascended to the throne in 2019 following the abdication of his father, Emperor Emeritus Akihito.

The Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum is made from pure gold and is worn by the emperor, and has been awarded to several visiting foreign heads of state in the past.


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