July 12, 2022 Shinzo Abe funeral news

(Shiho Fukada for CNN)
(Shiho Fukada for CNN)

Crowds of mourners gathered in Tokyo today, lining the streets around Jojoji Temple, where a memorial service is being held for the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The funeral is private, attended only by the former leader’s family, his relatives and foreign dignitaries, but members of the public gathered in the square to pay their respects.

(Shiho Fukada for CNN)
(Shiho Fukada for CNN)

Photographs from the scene show mourners weeping, hands clutching flowers, notes and other offerings to be placed at a memorial outside the temple.

Abe was a controversial but popular figure who served two terms in power from 2006 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2020.

(Shiho Fukada for CNN)
(Shiho Fukada for CNN)

The temple is a centuries-old building of historical and cultural significance, it houses the tombs of the military rulers of Japan during the Edo period.

On Monday evening, the temple also hosted a private wake for Abe, attended by his widow Aki Abe, other relatives and guests.

(Shiho Fukada for CNN)
(Shiho Fukada for CNN)

After the memorial service, the hearse containing Abe’s body will be taken from the temple to the Kirigaya Funeral Home for cremation.

Along the way, the hearse will pass important sites, including the prime minister’s office, the parliament building and the headquarters of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party. At the Prime Minister’s Office Complex, office staff will stand outside to see him off.

(Shiho Fukada for CNN)
(Shiho Fukada for CNN)