Japan: Man Sets Himself Ablaze Over Abe’s State Funeral

Photo: cnn

The Facts

  • On Wednesday, a man set himself on fire near the prime minister's office in Tokyo, protesting government plans to hold a state funeral for former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe later this month.

  • Local media reported that the man, who is in his 70s, was taken to hospital and police are gathering evidence from security cameras and eyewitnesses. A police officer who tried to extinguish the fire was also taken to hospital due to injuries.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Opting for convening a state funeral – the second for a prime minister in Japan's post-war history – was a questionable decision by PM Fumio Kishida. His rationale was that this event could help him domestically and internationally, but he failed to anticipate the emerging links between Abe and the Unification Church affecting public opinion. Now, he can't backtrack on the event and his approval ratings are plummeting.

Pro-establishment narrative

Though some older people oppose it, Abe deserves a state funeral for his achievements as Japan's prime minister. He was able to put the Japanese economy back on track with his "Abenomics," more than doubling the Nikkei stock average and tackling unemployment during his record tenure. Some problems did exist, but the positive aspects of his administration should prevail when it comes to his memorial service. Abe was one of Japan's greatest leaders.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that the Liberal Democratic Party will lose its status as the largest party in the House of Representatives of Japan by 2043, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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